Butterfly visits have been a bit on short supply in my garden this year so far. I’ve heard others mention this too. However, bring on a few warm, windless days in July and fingers crossed they will start to appear – although the short-term forecast isn’t too promising.
If you have been enjoying butterfly visits to your garden or seen them when you’ve been out and about please do share them in a comment. We’d all love to hear about them 🙂
Here in the UK, Butterfly Conservation would love to hear about any sightings you see for their 2nd big butterfly count that’s running this month – 16th-31st July 2011. 15 mins is all it takes and you can get details on their website. I hope I manage a count this year.
Interestingly enough, last night as I mowed our lawn I disturbed a number of small moths and what looked like a small heath butterfly in grass I am allowing to grow uncut on a mound I built last year. What a surprise I got there!
I’ve never seen that butterfly in my garden before. I didn’t get any photos for a proper ID as it was about to rain and after being on holiday I wanted to get the grass cut again.This year we didn’t use too much on carbon footprints for our holiday choosing to stay in Scotland.
We headed to the West coast where we enjoyed a great location which overlooked a river. I found myself doing a river watch with a couple of ID mysteries. One in particular, had me stumped for over an hour in a bookshop! I finally used my phone to send my query to a bird forum where I got my ID based on a description only. Video and stories to follow soon 🙂
Emails on my return included one on the Love Parks Week which is organised by GreenSpace and is a registered charity which works to improve parks and green spaces by raising awareness, involving communities and creating skilled professionals.
Being honest, I don’t suppose I consider parks much at all in the area I live. I guess this is partly due to the fact I have considerable green spaces to enjoy here. I also have my own personal green space that is my garden which I know I am lucky to have. I also visit larger gardens like Edinburgh Botanical Garden (shown in photo above) that I see as park-like.
Love Parks Week is “aiming to get one million people out into their local park. From Tai Chi classes to jazz nights, urban street games to teddy bear picnics”. You might even want to organise an event yourself.
Not being a park user I can still see that parks really have a strong community focus especially when “91% of people believe that public parks and open spaces improve their quality of life”. A park is not just for walking the dog at the weekend… it’s for everyone and hopefully for forever! That’s provided it gets support it needs.
Award winning garden designer and TV presenter, Chris Beardshaw is passionate about green spaces and giving his support to Love Parks Week:
“I spent most of my youth outdoors and I think exploring a local park is a brilliant way to get children thinking about their surroundings and the community they live in. Britain’s parks are an invaluable legacy from the past – many are more than 100 years old – but they are an important part of our future.
There is so much evidence now on the positive impact good green spaces have on our lives, be that our health and well-being, our social fabric, even helping the economy and reducing crime rates and the evidence is continuing to grow.
By visiting a public green space and witnessing the passion and enthusiasm of those who create and maintain them, you can enliven the senses and help keep these spaces alive and vital.”
Of course, butterflies can be spotted in parks too and the big butterfly count welcomes sightings from parks and woods as well as from gardens. I should also add (quite important too) that if you see no sightings at all in your count that result is valuable too so please send it in.
Being a nationwide survey, the big butterfly count is aimed at helping assess the health of our environment. “Butterflies react very quickly to change in their environment which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators.
The count will also assist in identifying trends in species that will help us plan how to protect butterflies from extinction, as well as understand the effect of climate change on wildlife. Butterfly declines are an early warning for other wildlife losses. That’s why counting butterflies can be described as taking the pulse of nature.”
That’s a lovely way to think of a butterfly . Wishing you a good weekend with many sightings of butterflies and enjoyable visits to parks 🙂
Oh… and do enjoy any Open Garden Visits you make. I visited some last weekend and that’s up next followed by a swallow tale and my river watch on holiday with an update on our House Martin nest fitted in somewhere. Hopefully it will be dry over the next few days to get my video camera out for a closer look at what stage the nest is at now. Gosh… I’ll need another holiday after all this 🙂
This post was written by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in July 2011.