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Join in to help British Butterflies

How can you not love butterflies? The beauty in their fragile designs, the way they pleasantly flutter from plant to plant, their extraordinary lifestyle, the gentle display of the wonders of nature that they bring to a garden in the midst of warm summer weather all help to make butterflies one of the most loved creatures for children and adults alike.

So it has been of serious concern to learn that their numbers have been steadily declining in recent years.

Now here is a chance for LaterLife readers to help. The Butterfly Conservation group was founded in 1968 and increasingly is doing sterling work in helping preserve and increase the numbers of Britain’s beautiful butterfly population. Its president is Sir David Attenborough (more information on ).

They have joined forces with Marks & Spencer with a commitment to help to protect the environment for butterflies, and this week sees the start of their:

Big Butterfly Count.

This is a nationwide survey and takes place from this week until Sunday 10th August.

This isn’t the first Big Butterfly Count. It was launched in 2010 and last year over 46,000 people took part, counting 830,000 individual butterflies and day flying moths.

Counting the butterflies will do more than give an idea of how a particular species is doing. Butterflies react quickly to changes in their environment and the data from this will be used to help give a clearer understanding of what is going on with butterflies and develop new ways to help protect them from extinction.

Taking part is simple. All you need do is choose 15 minutes during bright and ideally sunny weather and sit or stand in a fixed position in your garden, a park, a field or forest - anywhere you choose as long as you can identify the location.

Then you simply record the butterflies you see. You are asked to count the maximum number of species you see at any single time, and also if possible identify them. To help here, the organisers have designed a special identification chart which can be downloaded to help.

Along with the President Sir David Attenborough, Alan Titchmarsh MBE and actress Joanna Lumley OBE have all given their support to the project.

Your results have to be sent in online via their website rather than by email so that they can be officially recorded.

To find out more, visit:

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