Big Butterfly Count

Words by Samantha Harman 


One Garden are offering you the opportunity to donate some of your time to help with conservation. 

Visit One Garden Brighton in their gardens between Friday, July 12th, and Sunday, August 4th for the Big Butterfly Count. All you need to do is spend just 15 minutes observing butterflies and moths, and record the species you see. This nationwide citizen science survey helps to track butterfly populations, which are not only magical, but also crucial pollinators and key components of the food chain. 

The data you collect will help identify important trends, aiding in the protection of butterflies from extinction and enhancing our understanding of climate change’s impact on wildlife.

Butterfly Conservations Big Butterfly Count is a nationwide citizen science survey aimed at helping assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and has rapidly become the world’s biggest survey of butterflies. Over 64,000 citizen scientists took part in 2022, submitting 96,257 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths from across the UK.

The Big Butterfly Count 2024 reopens on 1st July ready for the main event between 12th July and 4th August. All the counts can be viewed on the interactive map.

Sadly, these winged creatures are under threat. Numbers of butterflies and moths in the UK have decreased significantly since the 1970s. This is a warning that cannot be ignored. Butterfly declines are also an early warning for other wildlife losses. Butterflies are key biodiversity indicators for scientists as they react very quickly to changes in their environment. Therefore, if their numbers are falling, then nature is in trouble. So tracking numbers of butterflies is crucial in the fight to conserve our natural world. 

That’s why taking part in this massive citizen science survey is of great importance not just for our butterflies but for the wider environment and biodiversity in general.

Not only that, this is also the perfect family outing and an ideal way of engaging your children with their natural surroundings and it is fun! Seeing how many butterflies and daytime moths your kids can spot will amuse them for a couple of hours at least. While you’re there you can visit One Kitchen for some delicious locally sourced food or peruse the market for plants and again, locally sourced produce and wine from the Plumpton Estate. 

Steven Graham
Author: Steven Graham

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