The Great Butterfly Count 

Brimstone on a Buddeja

Butterflies make such a difference to our gardens, they make our gardens come a live with flicks of colour as they move around the garden, from one flower to the next, it helps to remind us our gardens aren’t just for our enjoyment but for the wildlife as well. One great way to engage with the nature that’s flutters into our gardens is to take part in the Butterfly Count. 
The last few years at this time of year, the Butterfly Conservation charity launches its annual butterfly count. The count looks at the more common butterflies that fly around the uk, so they can monitor how they are doing and also help monitor the effect climate change is effecting one of the major indicators speices of change. This wonderful project has been going since 2010 and last year had a massive 36,000 people taking part, recording over 400,000 butterflies and dayflying moths. It takes place from 14th of July to 6th of August and it’s not a differiclt thing to do, doesn’t make if you don’t know any of the butterflies that are around you, they produce a great app for your phone or will send you a butterfly chart with all the speices on the monitoring list so you can fill out the survey nice and easy. It takes 15 minutes to carry out, and you can either sit down and watch on spot or walk around the garden counting them as you go. It’s brilliant fun to get the kids involved, my little 5yr old daughter loved helping me carry out a few with me last year and still talks about it even now. It really gets the kids into thinking about both the garden and our wildlife. I also use it to check I am doing my job right in the borders I develop with butterflies in mind, a 15 minute survey helps me to keep on top of the plants that are working better than others and plants certain type of butterflies enjoy feeding on! 

The Butterfly conservation does wonderful work promoting butterfly conservation around the country, improving habitats to help some of our rarest butterflies, monitoring so many diferent speices, improving our knowledge of butterflies, managing 30 sites and offering advice to other groups on improving sites. This is just a small part of what they do! 

Small Tortoiseshell on Buddeja

It’s so easy to do, please take 15 minutes out of your week, whether it’s your lunchtime, spare time or even a whole school class or even take a picnic or daytime BBQ somewhere and add it into a fun game, all you need to do is download the app and take part of in it and open your eyes to the beauty of butterflies. 

This years count is being sponsored by Waitrose and it’s great to see a big supermarket take notice and sponsor such a valuable event 

While the Butterfly count is on, I am changing my plant of the week to my butterfly plant of the week, looking at a great plants, either cultivated or wild, that attractin butterflies either as a food source for catapilliers or indeed for the adults, hopefully this will encourage you in growing some more plants that help our beautiful winged delights.

Hope you will have great fun and enjoy 

Peacock on verbena

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