David Attenborough backs world's biggest butterfly count

Angelo Anderson
July 22, 2018

Attenborough, however, has urged the public to concentrate on a different sort of wilderness urging people to stop fretting over Brexit with all its permutations and concentrate instead on counting butterflies.

"Get out for the Big Butterfly Count, it's good for them and it's good for you".

Although researchers have reason to be optimistic as so far we have had the right combination of a cold winter, a settled late spring and late summer so far this year, enabling spring butterflies to thrive.

But the count is amid fears that if the hot weather persists and becomes a drought, butterflies could suffer fatally as plants wither away and caterpillars starve to death.

The annual count could record a bumper year for species such as holly blue, common white, common blue and red admirals.

Mental health charity Mind is supporting the Big Butterfly Count as a "wonderful way of interacting with the environment" and championing the benefits of spending time in nature.

In our politically divided times, we need people like Sir David Attenborough to remind us that there's more to life than arguing.


He said: "A few precious moments spent watching a stunning red admiral or peacock butterfly feeding amongst the flowers in my garden never fails to bring me great pleasure".

The national event, which launches on Friday, invites people all over the country to record how numerous winged species they can spot for the Butterfly Conservation charity.

The veteran wildlife presenter said that spending time with nature offered "precious breathing space away from the stresses and strains of modern life".

Unwilling to chat about the boat that's launched and named after him, he simply stated: 'I wanted to talk about the Big Butterfly Count, that's why you invited me here'.

Since 1990, butterfly numbers have dropped by 27 per cent in farmland and by 58 per cent in woods, the government study found.

Over 60,000 people submitted counts during last year's count, the largest ever, but it found that butterflies populations were the lowest they'd been since the count started back in 2010 - something that was attributed to the particularly wet summer we experience last year.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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