Welcome to Butterfly Conservation in Somerset and Bristol

The State of Nature 2016 report launched this month (September) makes substantial and effective use of butterfly data collected by BC’s network of volunteers. The report finds that over the long term 62% of butterfly species declined and 38% increased, while over the short term, 50% of species declined and 50% increased. Since 1970, the Farmland Butterfly Indicator has declined by 27% and since 1990 the Woodland Butterfly Indicator has declined by 51%.

Butterfly Conservation is one of 53 partner bodies involved in this review, led and funded by the RSPB. The UK report and the four country reports can be read at http://www.rspb.org.uk/forprofessionals/science/research/details.aspx?id=363867


Small tortoiseshell numbers have been worryingly low this year. This may be due to the cool spring and slow start to the summer but other factors must also be at work in the longer term as its population has fallen by more than two-thirds since the 1970s. Theories involve climate change, pollution and parasitic flies that kill the butterfly’s caterpillars, but we need more information.

If you see Small Tortoiseshells or any other butterflies in your garden, please do enter them online at the BC website Garden Butterfly Survey www.gardenbutterflysurvey.org.  We are still keen to have final records for this year.

At least there is one bit of cheerful news. Nigel Cottle found 339 small torts on one site on the Levels at the start of September, plus 11 clouded yellows, five painted ladys and 1132 green-veined whites!

A few small torts are still on the wing and there will soon be looking for places to hibernate. On them depend our hopes for next year so if you find one in a dark corner of your shed or behind the curtains, try to leave it undisturbed or remove it to a cold dry dark place to overwinter in peace.


We are finally close to arranging a log-in method for members that protects personal info and prevents hacking and spam.  Meanwhile our Facebook follower count is 580 and our Twitter site has 750 so please do use them.