Last year’s most common species, the Gatekeeper Photo: Liam Richardson – Butterfly Conservation

Do you love butterflies and moths? Do you want to help protect them from the effects of climate change? Then join the Big Butterfly Count, the UK’s largest citizen science project, and help scientists monitor the health of our environment.

The Big Butterfly Count is a nationwide survey organised by Butterfly Conservation, a wildlife charity that works to conserve butterflies, moths and their habitats. The Count runs from 14 July to 6 August, and anyone can take part. All you need is 15 minutes of your time, a sunny spot, and a smartphone or a pen and paper.

The aim of the Count is to record as many butterflies and moths as you can see in your chosen location. You can do it in your garden, balcony, park, school, or anywhere else. You can also do it as many times as you like, on different days or at different places. The more counts you do, the more valuable your data will be.

Why is it important to count butterflies and moths? Because they are sensitive indicators of the state of our wildlife and environment. By counting them, you can help scientists understand how they are coping with climate change, habitat loss, pollution and other threats. You can also help them identify which species are thriving and which are declining, and what actions are needed to conserve them.

Butterflies and moths are not only beautiful and fascinating creatures, they are also vital for our ecosystems. They pollinate flowers, provide food for birds and bats, and recycle nutrients in the soil. They also bring joy and wonder to millions of people who admire their colours and patterns.

Last year, over 100,000 people took part in the Big Butterfly Count and spotted more than one million butterflies and moths. The most common species was the Gatekeeper, followed by the Large White and the Meadow Brown. However, some species like the Small Tortoiseshell and the Peacock suffered a sharp decline due to the hot and dry weather.

This year, Butterfly Conservation hopes to beat these records and get even more people involved. They also hope to see some rare and endangered species like the Purple Emperor, the Silver-studded Blue and the White-letter Hairstreak. These species have been making a comeback thanks to conservation efforts across the country.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your phone or your notebook and join the Big Butterfly Count today. You will not only have fun and learn something new, but you will also make a difference for our planet and its wildlife. To find out more and to submit your sightings, visit or download the free Big Butterfly Count app. Happy counting!

By Ed

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