Butterfly Count

We all know that butterfly populations, along with those of many other insects, are falling rapidly.

Here are some statistics for one-year (to 2018) and ten-year trends:

butterfly number

These are “official government statistics” available from here and the Key Findings are here which include factors that are:

Climate Change related – “Warming temperatures have been shown to have both positive and negative effects on populations of British butterflies. Species at the northern limit of their ranges have been able to expand their ranges, moving northwards throughout the UK.”

And Habitat related – “Habitat loss and changes in habitat management have been the greatest drivers of change in UK butterfly populations”

As well as long term trends there will of course by the effects of short term weather patterns and that, in different ways, would explain the wave of Painted Ladies and also Peacocks and Red Admirals we have experienced this summer.

Painted Ladies


“emerge in once-a-decade phenomenon” as the BBC explains here

But Peacocks


and Red Admirals


are locals and their habitat, at least here, has been broadly the same over the last few years therefore the recent numbers must be due to something else – weather patterns this year maybe.

The list above of fourteen species is not a random one but the butterflies we have seen on our plot so far. The latest addition was a solitary Wall seen this week:

Wall 2019-0903

We have started recording our butterfly sightings, along with those of other living things, at iRecord:


where they might be of use to others plus less common species can get confirmed by an expert!