Thursday, 10 August 2017

Big Butterfly Count: submit findings by the end of August

The Big Butterfly Count started last month:
Futures Forum: Big Butterfly Count: 14th July - 6th August

It's still possible to take part:

Welcome to August's ‘all aflutter’.
In the UK we are used to unsettled summer weather and, like our butterflies, we just have to make the most of the sunny spells. You only need 15 minutes of sunshine to complete a Big Butterfly Count and this weekend is the last chance to take part. How about visiting your your local river or canal for a waterside count? Our Head of Recording Richard Fox, has some early observations on how different species are faring, while the Secret Gardener suggests making a note of the plants with the most visitors, to help you plan your butterfly-friendly garden for next year.
Will The Comma Make A Comeback?
Towpath pedestrians and riverside ramblers are being asked to look out for butterflies this weekend.
The Comma has experienced an extraordinary 138% increase in population over the last 40 years, despite being rare just over a century ago. But last year the species had a setback, with the lowest numbers reported during the Big Butterfly Count since the scheme began in 2010.
You could help us discover what happened to the Comma in 2016 by reporting your sightings to this year's Big Butterfly Count.
The bramble, thistles and knapweed that commonly grow along rivers and canals are a fantastic source of nectar for Comma butterflies, while nettles and hops provide food for caterpillars.
The Canal and Riverside Trust would like more people to enjoy the wildlife that thrives on our waterways. Download the free the Big Butterfly Count chart or app to identify and report your butterfly sightings.
Dig It: Sitting Pretty
If you have followed the advice of the Secret Gardener this year then August is the time to put your feet up and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Hopefully your garden is blooming with nectar plants and buzzing with bees and butterflies. You can prolong your pollinator's paradise with a spot of deadheading and plenty of water. Mother Nature has been showering the flowers fairly frequently in many places, which has kept beds and borders looking bright. But remember plant pots dry out quickly when it's warm. 

Are you planning a holiday? This month's blog contains some top tips for how to enjoy and prepare your garden before you go.
Look Out For: Summer Species
The Big Butterfly Count takes place at the beginning of August because it is the peak flight period for our common and widespread species - those that can be found across the UK in towns, cities and the countryside.

The term 'common' suggests these butterflies don't need our help. But many of our most frequently seen species are declining at alarming rates, particularly in urban areas.

Red Admirals appear to be having a good summer but other species are notably scarce. Have you seen a Small Tortoiseshell a Peacock or a Holly Blue this year? This weekend is the last chance to submit a Big Butterfly Count. Please let us know what you've spotted.
Switch To Save Butterflies
If you're not already a customer of Ecotricity you can save butterflies by switching your gas and electricity supply.

Ecotricity will donate up to £60 to Butterfly Conservation for each new customer that joins the green energy revolution.

Power your house with energy from renewable sources - electricity from the wind, the sun and the sea and gas from organic material.

Your bills will fund the building of new, sustainable and ethical sources of energy, creating a healthier world for us and our wildlife.

Species images from top to bottom: Comma (Adrian Kennerley), Lion Saltworks Butterfly Garden (Cheshire Branch), Small Tortoiseshell (Josie Latus).

big butterfly count
Butterfly Conservation - Home

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