Butterfly Conservation

Protect our butterflies…

This project is all about engaging with as many people as possible to promote a greater number of butterfly-friendly habitats. There are loads of resources from professional wildlife conservation organisations and I have gathered together some of the best here.

Why are butterflies important? Firstly, an abundance of butterflies is a bright, colourful indication that there is a broader, healthy ecosystem. In essence, if butterflies thrive, so will a host of other invertebrates

Secondly, but butterflies and moths are a vital part of the food chain. Range of birds and bats, for example, feed on on butterflies and moths.

There are loads of other reasons too, but the last I’ll mention is that they’re pollinators. So along with bees, wasps and others, we and the rest of the natural world need them to do their thing.

So… what can you do?

Do less:

Leave a wild patch

Leave some lawn unmown, however large or small, and provide some wild places for a whole host of wildlife. See ideas from RSPB and Natural History Museum. You’ll find that flowering plants were in your lawn all along, and the flowers, seeds, etc will encourage butterflies, other pollinators, grasshoppers, beetles and much. much more.

Leave the leaf piles

Leave those untidy piles of leaves, logs, etc, and save yourself some work. They may be home to overwintering butterflies – chrysalises (plus loads of other great wildlife – maybe even hedgehogs!) so they make up a chunk of this year’s wildlife. See Chris Packham’s Facebook post, and his poster

Avoid pesticides

Use less pesticide (or none). There’s a fair bit of research on this and it is neonicotinoids that are the main problem. We hear much about this with respect to bees, but they affect butterflies too. This chemical is systemic, which means it is absorbed by the plants and is then found in every part of the plant; pollen, nectar, leaves. All of it – so it isn’t about the butterflies touching freshly applied pesticide. Basically, we need zero neonicotinoids in our environment!

Do more:

What can I do in my garden/patio/balcony/window box?

Also…

What next?

What’s in your patch?

Caterpillar and butterfly spotting:

Learn more about the butterfly life-cycle:

Also…

Get involved with your local Butterfly Conservation team

Butterfly surveys – what’ve you got?

Things for children to do and family fun from home

Counting and letting the professionals know so they can monitor populations – Click here to take part