Friends make but­ter­flies count

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Business Kent Update -

The Friends of By­brook Na­ture Re­serve (FoBNR) in Ash­ford have been work­ing hard to help save but­ter­flies. Armed with iden­ti­fi­ca­tion charts, mem­bers of the FoBNR took part in the Big But­ter­fly Count on Satur­day, July 29, where they spent 15 min­utes ob­serv­ing and record­ing the num­ber of but­ter­flies in their cho­sen lo­ca­tion. The Big But­ter­fly Count, run by the or­gan­i­sa­tion But­ter­fly Con­ser­va­tion - chaired by Sir David At­ten­bor­ough - is a na­tional sur­vey to help mon­i­tor the in­sects, whose numbers have been de­clin­ing over the past few years. Vis­i­tors Felix and Rowan Stevens spot­ted gate­keeper, large white, com­mon blue, pea­cock and red ad­mi­ral but­ter­flies. Deb­bie Reynolds, part­ner­ship of­fi­cer at the Ken­tish Stour Coun­try­side Part­ner­ship, which runs the re­serve, said: “The FoBNR are an ex­am­ple of how a com­mu­nity can work to­gether to pro­tect their lo­cal green spa­ces. “The re­sult of their hard work is mea­sur­able by the su­perb ar­ray and large num­ber of but­ter­flies that have been recorded on site this year.” The lat­est re­port pub­lished by But­ter­fly Con­ser­va­tion on the state of the UK’s but­ter­flies found 76% of the UK’s res­i­dent and reg­u­lar mi­grant species de­clined in ei­ther abun­dance or oc­cur­rence, or both, over the past four decades. By com­par­i­son, 47% of species in­creased in one or both mea­sures. The or­gan­i­sa­tion says restor­ing but­ter­fly pop­u­la­tions across the UK, in gar­dens, ur­ban green spa­ces and the coun­try­side, is likely to bring sub­stan­tial ben­e­fits to other species and also to the health and well­be­ing of the hu­man pop­u­la­tion.

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