Learning some moth ID, aided by sunshine and coffee.
What we do and what's in it for you
As a member of Butterfly Conservation living in Somerset, including Bristol and Bath, you are also a member of this County Branch. At the moment there are about 1200 of us in total.
We all of us receive the Branch magazine The Arion and have the opportunity to take part in the guided walks, new members’ days and training days that we run through the summer, while in winter we have the AGM, which attracts some top-notch speakers and offers a remarkable abundance and quality of cakes, and the New Year social Get-together.
An exceptionally high number of members, certainly over 10% of the total, are actively involved in the work of the Branch. The main and most time-consuming task is Transect Walking which is really only possible for those without a full-time job, and somewhat more than a hundred of us do it; this commitment gives us information on butterfly population trends that guides conservation priorities and also feeds into research on climate change and global warming.
We now have four butterfly reserves in the Branch area – more than most counties do, and although professional BC staff have overall responsibility there is much that needs attention by volunteers, from keeping an eye on grazing animals, though checking the abundance of caterpillar food plants, to scrub-bashing.
Then there are events and activities with children that are really rewarding. They get so much fun out of it and so do we.
Because we are part of the national charity, we as a Branch operate to the same rules that govern all charities and we have standard procedures we must follow over how we operate and manage our finances. We receive a small part of your annual subscription to fund the provision of The Arion and other activities but in fact our only costs are for services that we have to buy, like postage. All the volunteers are 100% volunteers – they give freely their time, their travel costs, their knowledge and skills. And we none of us do anything we don’t enjoy doing.
Beyond the core of active members with time to give us in this way, most people do the Big Butterfly County and many records the sightings in their gardens though the year and contact us with sightings and questions.
Even so, there is much more we would like to do to enthuse people about butterflies and moths and to carry out practical tasks. So if you have a bit of time to spare, do get in touch as you no doubt have a skill or energy that we can put to good use together.
Branch Committe members plus Natural England and Wildlife Trust staff take break from scrub-bashing
Branch Committee Members & Officers
Chairman John Andrews: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary Post vacant
Treasurer Paula Hewitson: Blueberries10@outlook.com
Butterfly Recorder and Honorary Warden Haddon Moor Reserve Dave Ayling: email@example.com
Transect Co-ordinator and Honorary Warden Mount Fancy Reserve Liz Marsden: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter Editor and Membership Secretary Sue Davies: email@example.com
Macro Moth Recorder John Bebbington: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Marshall: email@example.com
Hilary Raeburn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julian Rawlins: email@example.com
Facebook (Somerset Butterflies and Moths) and Twitter (# BC Somerset) Coordinator Nigel Cottle: firstname.lastname@example.org