Nature lovers from across the UK are invited to take part in the world’s largest survey of butterflies from Friday 16th July when the Big Butterfly Count 2021 is launched.
The annual citizen science event – run by wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation – offers an easy way to give something positive back to nature and is open to people of all ages to get involved.
Those taking part are asked to spend just 15 minutes in an outdoor space counting the amount and type of butterflies and day-flying moths they see during a three-week period. The results are then logged onto an interactive map and compared to findings from previous years.
The aim of the campaign is to assess the health of our environment and to inspire people to help protect butterflies and other pollinators, which are declining in the UK.
Last year’s event attracted more than 111,00 people from across the UK, who counted 145,249 butterflies during the 2020 campaign. Since launching in 2010, the Big Butterfly Count has grown to become the largest survey of butterflies in the world, with data received helping to identify and protect butterfly species from extinction, as well as understand the effect of climate change on wildlife.
This summer, garden wildlife specialists Vivara, owned by CJ WildBird Foods, has teamed up with Butterfly Conservation as co-sponsor to help encourage people to become citizen scientists.
The Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday 16th July until Sunday 8th August 2021. To sign up and submit your sightings, visit; www.bigbutterflycount.org – or download the free Big Butterfly Count app.
Main image: Peacock butterfly by Andrew Cooper, Butterfly Conservation
Concise Butterfly and Moth Guide
It covers more than 150 species, all of which are illustrated with superb full-colour artworks that show – where relevant – variations in colour, for example for male and female butterflies, as well as some of the most spectacular caterpillars.