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How you can get involved in the Big Butterfly Count

PUBLISHED: 09:57 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:57 31 July 2018

The Common Blue (c) Martin Warren

The Common Blue (c) Martin Warren

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The world's biggest insect survey of its kind, The Big Butterfly Count, runs from July 20 until August 12

People are asked to spend 15 minutes in their garden or out on a walk recording the butterflies they see and then logging them at bigbutterflycount.org.

There is a handy, downloadable chart to help with identification. The results help to see how our common butterfly species are doing across the country.

Weather conditions are not helping our butterflies: the cold snap at the end of April in 2017 and the cloudy, wetter than average second half of the summer caused further problems for species already struggling from a combination of habitat loss and climate change.

But, although 61% species in the UK are still in long term decline, thankfully not all had a bad year. The Common Blue (pictured) saw an increase of 90% in Somerset since 2016.

Populations can bounce back providing suitable habitat is available. Professor Tom Brereton, Associate Director of Monitoring at Butterfly Conservation, says: “There’s lots of good conservation work happening across the country, including Somerset and the south west, which will aid any recovery should we get a helping hand with the weather this summer.”

For more information, or to log your sightings, visit the Big Butterfly Count website here.

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