The big butterfly count is a nationwide 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 100,000 people took part in 2018, submitting 97,133 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths from across the UK (see all the 2018 results).
The big butterfly count 2019 takes place from Friday 19 July – Sunday 11 August. So this would make a perfect free Summer holiday activity to do with our children.
I have spotted lots of butterflies whilst walking with my own children, there are many different types to be spotted in Andover, thanks to the work of our local groups in Andover TARCA and Andover Trees
FunFact : A group of butterflies is officially called a kaleidoscope, although they are sometimes referred to as a swarm
How to take part
Simply count butterflies for 15 minutes during bright (preferably sunny) weather during the big butterfly count. They have chosen this time of year because most butterflies are at the adult stage of their lifecycle, so more likely to be seen. Records are welcome from anywhere: from parks, school grounds and gardens, to fields and forests.
If you are counting from a fixed position in your garden, count the maximum number of each species that you can see at a single time. For example, if you see three Red Admirals together ,then record it as 3, but if you only see one at a time then record it as 1 (even if you saw one on several occasions) – this is so that you don’t count the same butterfly more than once . If you are doing your count on a walk, then simply total up the number of each butterfly species that you see during the 15 minutes.
Download this handy identification chart to help you work out which butterflies you have seen.
You can send in your sightings online at www.bigbutterflycount.org.