Join in the UK Big Butterfly Count

Want to get more involved in citizen-science, help the environment or just have fun enjoying nature – Why not try the Big Butterfly Count this Summer.

The Big Butterfly Count is a nationwide survey aimed at helping to 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 the 2018 results).

This years Big Butterfly Count will take place from Friday, 19 July – Sunday, 11 August 2019.

Why count Butterflies?
Butterflies can be a good indicator of the stat of our shred environment. They react very quickly to change in their environment, which makes them ideal biodiversity indicators. A decline in butterflies is an early warning for other wildlife losses.

That’s why counting butterflies can be described as taking the pulse of nature.

The count will, also, assist us in identifying trends in species that will help to plan how to protect butterflies from extinction, as well as understand the effect of climate change on wildlife.

It is good for the families with children to be involved in the count, just as much for organisations especially with ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System to be able to demonstrate the environmental impact.

Beautiful Peacock Butterfly from our Garden
Beautiful Peacock Butterfly from our Garden

How to take part?
Simply count butterflies for 15 minutes during bright (preferably sunny) weather during the Big Butterfly Count. At this time of year, 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 on a buddleia bush 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.

To help with the identification of butterflies, download the handy identification chart to help you work out which butterflies you have seen or download the iOS or Android app.

How do I send in my count?
You can send in your sightings online at or by using the smartphone apps. The website will be open to receive records throughout July and August.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to send you count by post, e-mail, text or phone.

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