The annual Big Butterfly Count shows an abundance of the creatures thanks to recent warm weather in Britain. But long-term trends are not so promising …
Suddenly, painted ladies are everywhere. From roadside verges and patches of waste ground to the flowerbeds in my Somerset garden, I am seeing dozens of these attractive black, white and orange butterflies, as they flit from flower to flower, feeding hungrily on nectar.
They’re not the only butterflies currently on the wing. As the last meadow browns, pale and faded from the sun, straggle along the hedgerows, I’m seeing newly minted gatekeepers and common blues wherever I go. And, on a recent visit to my coastal patch, I came across two exquisite little butterflies, brown argus and small heath: the latter the 21st species of butterfly I have recorded there in less than five years.
The Big Butterfly Count is about more than just counting butterflies – we’ll be taking the pulse of nature