This weekend marks the beginning of the Big Butterfly Count: a three-week nationwide survey (20 July – 12 August) where members of the public are encouraged to spend 15 minutes to help record 17 different species of our most common butterflies.
Since being launched in 2010 the survey has become the largest of its kind in the world. While intended to record the health of the nation’s butterflies, which are strong biodiversity indicators, it also provides a chance to spend some time reconnecting with nature which all too often people overlook.
Sir David Attenborough who is the president of the Butterfly Conservation has urged people to get outside and count the colourful creatures. Watching nature provides him “precious breathing space” from the stress of modern life, “…it enables us to experience joy and wonder, to slow down and to appreciate the wildlife that lives side by side with us.”
The famous naturalist has been privileged to travel the world recording nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles, yet simply sitting in his back garden watching the red admirals or peacocks has provided some of his most “memorable experiences” of the natural world.
Mental health charity Mind is supporting the Big Butterfly Count as a “wonderful way of interacting with the environment” and championing the benefits of spending time in nature.
A good way to encourage butterflies in your garden is to allow herbs to flower as they provide good sources of nectar. You can make space to allow butterflies to breed by leaving a patch of grass to grow long and wild in the summer months.
What a great reason to take some time out of your everyday routine and get outside and focus on something different!
We’d love to hear from you with your findings and pictures.
Stay safe keep buzzing!