Big Butterfly Count

Big Butterfly Count 2014
Big Butterfly Count 2014

It is that time of year again for the Big Butterfly Count. Now entering its forth year. Originally started in 2010 by Butterfly Conservation, a wonderful organisation who still run the count. The big butterfly count it is a nationwide (UK) survey to assess the state of British Butterflies. And day flying moths. It is pure citizen science, where the general public give details of butterflies in their area. The survey takes place between July 19th and August 10th, so there is plenty of time to get involved and do your count.

Big Butterfly Count

As avid lepidoptery fans our family will be taking part as best we can. And as much as we can over the time period. (Update: Garden Butterfly Count)

What is Involved?

The best thing about this event is it doesn’t take much time! You simply need to take 15 mins, on a bright and sunny day, and note down what butterflies and day flying moths you see. You can do it anywhere, from your garden to a local park.

If you are not planning on walking around during your count but counting from a fixed position, say for example you are in your garden, then count the only the maximum number of each species that you can see at a single time. For example: If you saw 3 peacocks feeding at one time, but also one lone one later you only count the 3 you saw at once. The largest count only.

Once your 15 mins are up simply input the data into the Butterfly Count website (there is an obvious button to click) and you figures will be used to see what has been happening.

Best of all you can download a free ID chart from the big butterfly count website:

Orange Tip (female) - Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Orange Tip (female) – Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

Our involvement

We will be adding details of anything we see to the records as not only is it great for the kids to be involved in these things (they get a real feeling of being an important part of conservation that way) but it is also a fun activity for me as a massive fan.

You never know what you might see (especially with the amazing rare butterflies that have turned up in the UK so far this year), below are a few of my images to whet your appetite.

Peacock – Bradwell Village, Milton Keynes
Common Blue – Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes
Small Skipper – Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes

More of my butterfly images can be seen on my Butterflies of Milton Keynes page. Plus included elsewhere on various blog posts.

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Please feel free to leave me a comment, I really appreciate the interaction and will reply as soon as I can.
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