How to get involved in this year’s Big Butterfly Count

There are so many different types to spot (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

The Big Butterfly Count is a national survey that assesses the health of the environment by getting us to go out an spot butterflies.

Not only is it helpful for scientists to see how our native wildlife is faring, it also makes a great family day out.

Particularly while many play centres and other attractions are still closed during lockdown, getting outside and giving little ones a purpose while you walk or chill at the park just the ticket.

It’s super easy to get started – and totally free – so you can do it in your garden or local park or wherever you are.

Butterflies are an important environmental indicator (Picture: Getty Images)

How to be part of the Big Butterfly Count 2020

You can take part in the count either through the app or with a paper counting sheet.

Download the chart here, or the app here for Android or iOS.

The count starts today, so you can get involved any time from now to Sunday 9 August.

During bright weather, get your charts or phone app and set a timer for 15 minutes. Record each new butterfly you see, including the species.

Make sure to check flowers and plants (Picture: Getty Images)

If you see multiple butterflies of the same kind, pop them down separately (so three Painted Lady butterflies would count as three rather than one, despite being the same species).

When you’re done, stick your results by signing in here.

Even if you don’t see any butterflies during your 15 minute time, still input this into the survey, as it’s important for the counters to track.

You can do as many counts as you wish, including counts from the same place on different days. Plus you can take a look at the interactive map run by Big Butterfly Count to get a feel for how the rest of the UK is looking.

Butterfly populations are usually a very accurate indicator of how plants will fare, as they pollinate plants and act as a vital part of the food chain.

Over the last few decades butterfly numbers have rapidly dropped off, so it’s important to track this and make conservation efforts as a result.

Plus, you get to look at the beautiful winged insects and spend some time in nature. Win, win.

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