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Butterfly Conservation and biodiversity

  • Butterfly Conservation and biodiversity
  • Butterfly Conservation and biodiversity

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

Butterfly Conservation has a handy butterfly identifier page which, not being an expert, I found very useful; and there's a useful summary on how to attract butterflies to your garden.

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)

Comments (9)

  1. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    (guilty look!) Oops! You spotted that, then!

    I wanted a quick way to say "fellow Green Plant Swap people" and unfortunately someone has already claimed the initials!! Besides, GPS-ers isn't a particularly elegant term. Nor is Swappers, so I went with Greenies!

    I think it's lovely that the site can pull together all these plant records, it must be fascinating to see if particular plants are only grown in one swathe of the UK.

    So far, no butterflies in my little garden, but once the buddliea comes into flower I will expect to have masses of them!

  2. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    I think Greenies is great. In fact it's inspired me to write a little GreenPlantSwap limerick:

    There once was a lady in wellies
    Who struggled to plant all her Abies.
    With too many firs to put in the ground
    She offered them up and very soon found
    Many new friends who were Greenies.

    No butterflies spotted yet in our garden either. But can't be long now.

  3. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    Ha! Ha! Excellent!

    No butterflies in my garden today, we have autumnal mist and it's rather cold - so much for spring - and I imagine they are all staying safely tucked up somewhere until the sun comes out.

  4. Grower

    Helene U Taylor

    No butterflies in my garden yet either, but I have ladybirds, bees and bumblebees so far. I am hoping the deliberate planting for butterflies here in my new garden will be successful, new garden – new challenges, time will tell!

  5. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    So I think I saw a Clouded Yellow in our garden today. It was doing a 'fly by' rather than settle somewhere I could really study it. We're in Somerset and I see from the Butterfly Conservation web site there have also been sightings in the last few weeks of the Clouded Yellow in Dorset. Photo is courtesy of the BC web site. I could get into this!

    • Butterfly Conservation and biodiversity
  6. Grower


    We had a silver washed fritillary in our garden yesterday! First time I've seen one for years!

  7. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    Good to hear Jacqueline - was it like this? I gather they get their name from the silver undersides of their wings and are most commonly seen in woodland.

    • Butterfly Conservation and biodiversity
  8. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    For those that are interested, I just came across a fabulous new post about how to encourage and preserve butterflies in your garden. It's well worth the read.

  9. Grower

    Nikki Bailey

    Hi There - I thought this post might also be of interest to you: Pretty topical given we've just finished the big butterfly count for this year!

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