Small tortoiseshell
Small tortoiseshell.
I love butterflies – I have three tattooed on my foot – and this summer I wanted to do my bit to try and help protect them.
In advance of Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count, which runs from now until August 9th, Freya and I have been out and about with our free chart (you can download it from the charity’s website or there is a free app available) in a bid to try and at least be a little bit clued up before we have to tick them off our list.
A very old meadow brown (and friend).
I have also been on a quest capture them with my camera and I have A LOT of photos of blurry butterflies to show for my efforts!
A large white.
A younger looking meadow brown.

I am ashamed to say I couldn’t name a single one before we started but I am getting better now  – which should hopefully also prove useful in the future when Freya asks about them – and it’s been really quite exciting spotting different ones. To join in with the count, all you need to do is pick a spot in a garden, park or open space and spend 15 minutes logging all the butterflies you see. The reason the count is important is:

“Butterflies react very quickly to change in their environment which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators. Butterfly declines are an early warning for other wildlife losses. That’s why counting butterflies can be described as taking the pulse of nature. The count will also assist us in identifying trends in species that will help us plan how to protect butterflies from extinction, as well as understand the effect of climate change on wildlife.” Big Butterfly Count.

So if you have a spare 15 minutes please spend it outshine on a warm, ideally sunny, day counting these beautiful insects.  You can log your sightings via the website until the end of August.