Flutter by Dudley’s Big Butterfly event!

Butterfly CountWe want to help Butterfly Conservation complete the world’s biggest survey of butterflies – and we’d love you to join in!

Sir David Attenborough, Alan Titchmarsh and actress Joanna Lumley are all lending their support to complete the world’s biggest butterfly survey in the Big Butterfly Count 2014 – and we’re asking you to help too.

A special Big Butterfly Count event will be held at Saltwells Nature Reserve on 27th July for those who want to join in en-masse but, as it takes just 15 minutes – and is so easy, it’s also something you can do as a fun activity with the kids in the holidays at any of the borough’s parks or green spaces.

Take your notepad on this Butterflies in the Valley event at Brockswood Animal Sanctuary, or simply pick a spot and start spotting!

There’s more info on the Big Butterfly Count (what it is and why it has been set up) on the Butterfly Conservation website here, or take a quick look at this introductory video.

To get involved, this is all you need to know:

How to take part

First, print off the handy identification chart to help you work out which butterflies you have seen.

The butterfly count can be conducted anywhere – from parks and gardens to fields and forests, so choose your favourite spot and head over on a sunny day. It can be any day between Saturday 19 July to Sunday 10 August 2014. This is when most butterflies are at the adult stage of their lifecycle at this time of year, so are more likely to be seen.

Then, simply count how many butterflies you see in 15 minutes, using the chart to work out which type they are.

If you are counting from a fixed position, (not walking along), you need to try not to count the same butterfly twice, so only count the number of each type that you can see all at once. For example, if you see three Red Admirals together on a bush then record it as 3, but if you only see one at a time then record it as 1 (even if you saw one on several occasions).

If you are doing your count on a walk, then simply total up the number of each butterfly species that you see during the 15 minutes.

You can do more than one count – as long as it is on different dates, or at different places that you visit.

Remember that your count is useful even if you do not see any butterflies or moths.

Send in your sightings online at www.bigbutterflycount.org or by using the FREE big butterfly count smartphone apps available for iOS and Android.

If you need more inspiration on where to go to count butterlies in Dudley borough, you can find out more about the parks here, or nature reserves here.