The Big Butterfly Count – 19th July – 11th August

The Warrington Nature Conservation Forum (WNCF) have joined Chris Packham in urging people to join in the Big Butterfly Count.

WNCF media manager Paul Speake said “This is a great annual event and just like the Garden Bird Count anyone can take part.

“All you need to do is to log onto the Butterfly Conservation web page and download a The Big Butterfly Count Chart containing 19 species of butterflies and count how many they see in a place in 15 minutes. The results can then be easily entered on your mobile or PC.”

Chris Packham, who is patron of Woolston Eyes where you can find most varieties, launched the Big Butterfly Count on BBC 1 TV. He said that over 100,000 people took part last year and recorded one million sightings across the UK.

He said “We need the raw data to learn more about the natural world and what is happening to butterflies, its good science.

“This is also a great opportunity to get people outdoors and help improve their mental health.  We are proud to be doing this in association with MIND this year.”

WNCF chair, Geoff Settle said “I’ve seen most of the butterflies on The Big Butterfly Count Chart this year and all within five minutes-walk of my house. One good place for me is standing on the “new” environmental bridge that crosses Spittle Brook. It was built as part of the environmental flood protection scheme for Cinnamon Brow and has fantastic view across the stream’s floodplain where there is a tremendous variety of wildflowers.

“In the early warm Spring weather, I spotted the following butterflies in the area: Brimstone, Ivy Blue, many Peacocks, Commas and loads of Orange Tips during the warmer months early in the year.

Comma ( Polygonia c-album)

Unfortunately, since then there has been a lot of rain which has put a dampener on the butterflies. They need the warmth of the sunshine to bring them out and it’s only recently that the Large and Small Whites have appeared flying high and fast and the meadow browns scurrying between the tall grasses.”

Geoff is now looking forward to a buddleia cutting, given to him by his brother some four years ago that has begun to flower attracting Peacocks and Red Admirals butterflies. He said “The buddleia has taken ages to grow but this year it is looking good and open for business.

“The rest of the garden contains many plants that my wife who is a keen gardener has planted flowers that have attracted many insects and butterflies to the garden, including the Holly Blue.”

Holly blue ( Celastrina argiolus)

To find out more about the Big Butterfly Count and plants to grow in your garden go to https://butterfly-conservation.org/ and like Chris Patten says get out there and enjoy the experience.

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