Gardeners may be able to help reverse the decline in butterfly populations according to Butterfly Conservation, now recruiting volunteers to join its Garden Butterfly Survey.
The survey will reveal the ups and downs of garden butterfly numbers, plus how they are affected by climate change, what plants they prefer and the best size and location for a butterfly-friendly garden.
Britain’s 22 million gardens offer a potentially huge and vitally important habitat for our most beautiful insects, the charity says. It wants gardeners to count garden butterflies each month to monitor how climate is changing their behaviour.
Recent years have seen dramatic declines in the numbers of once-common garden butterflies such as the Small Copper, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral.
It’s not all bad news though: regular garden visitors such as the Comma, Ringlet and Speckled Wood have expanded their range and now appear in more of our gardens.
“Butterflies are a beautiful and important part of the UK’s wildlife and our gardens are where they are most often encountered,” says the charity’s Head of Recording, Richard Fox. “Despite this we know very little about how butterflies are faring in our gardens, or even how important gardens are as a habitat for them.”
To join in the survey, visit www.gardenbutterflysurvey.org.