Butterfly Transcect

The Butterfly Transect is a fixed route about 3 miles long which is walked each week from April to September by a team of volunteers who identify and count all the butterflies they see.  They are looking for 33 different species; not all are observed every year and others are only found on a few occasions.  

The Butterfly Transect was first started in 2006.  The results are submitted to and form part of the United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS).   Butterflies are uniquely placed amongst British terrestrial insects and other invertebrate groups to act as indicators of the state of the environment.  Our continued involvement with UKBMS is of great importance. The chart below shows the total numbers of butterflies counted each year.  2006 was a very hot summer which has set a record that has not yet been beaten.

We had an exceptionally cold and wet spring which impacted the emergence of a number of summer broods, according to Butterfly Conservation. This also meant that there were four weeks in April and May which were too cold to meet the criteria for the survey. All other weeks have been walked (to date).

Despite the cold start, a total of 2018 butterflies were recorded on the transect in the season. This compares to an average of 2088 butterflies per year in the last 10 years.

The top five butterflies reported in 2021 are shown here and compared to the average of the previous 10 years recorded in the transect.

Species

2021

Average 2011-2020

Meadow Brown

933

874

Ringlet

193

254

Marbled White

191

185

Gatekeeper

146

124

Large White

80

120

The most common butterflies we find