Friends make butterflies count
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.