Did you see the charity Butterfly Conservation has just launched a study into how butterflies are faring in UK gardens? In particular they hope to find out how butterflies are responding to climate change and which plants and gardens they prefer across the country.
Garden visitors such as the wall butterfly and small copper have suffered widespread declines in recent years; and there is great potential to learn more about where and how different species are surviving.
At GreenPlantSwap we firmly believe that the 22m+ UK gardens, which cover an area larger than Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Norfolk Broads combined, are a hugely important conservation habitat for all kinds of plants and wildlife.
We enable GPS members to record the plants in their gardens and, three years since launch, will be releasing the first results of this work across the country later in the spring. If you haven't already, do list the plants in your garden on GreenPlantSwap. It's a free service and a great way to keep a record of your plants linked to their growing info. The location-based data is then collected over time to build a UK-wide picture for different plants and genera.
For Greenies (thank you Rachel for that term!) who would also like to record the butterflies that visit your gardens head over to www.gardenbutterflysurvey.org.
Meanwhile do add photos/comments below about butterflies you see in your garden. It will be interesting to see how sightings develop through the spring.
Photos: small copper butterfly (credit: Butterfly Conservation)