Welcome to the Suffolk Branch of Butterfly Conservation
Butterfly Conservation is a
registered charity dedicated to the conservation of butterflies and
40 year slump for UK Butterflies
More than three-quarters of the UK’s butterflies
have declined in the last 40 years with some common species suffering
significant slumps, a major scientific study has revealed. A
number of widespread species such as the
Essex Skipper and
Small Heath now rank amongst the most severely declining
butterflies in the UK.
The findings also reveal that
intensive conservation efforts have started to turn around the
fortunes of some of the UK’s most endangered butterflies. During the
last 10 years the numbers of the threatened
Duke of Burgundy have increased by 67% and the
Pearl-bordered Fritillary has experienced a 45% rise in abundance.
Dingy Skipper and
Silver-studded Blue have shown 21% and 19% increases in occurrence
respectively and even the UK’s most endangered butterfly, the High
Brown Fritillary, has been relatively stable in the last decade.
But despite breakthroughs with some threatened butterflies the
report revealed that other species continue to struggle. The long-term
decline of the
White Admiral and
Marsh Fritillary show few signs of stopping.
Read the full report here
Next Local Events -
The Events page has a full list and details of the 2016
events - the first is in May
A Donation Can be Worth 10 times
the Amount via The Match Pot Funding.
the Match Pot appeal about?
Landfill site operators pay
Landfill Tax when they bury waste – some of this tax is available to
fund environmental projects by applying to the Landfill Communities
Fund (LCF). To obtain funding from the LCF, Butterfly
Conservation has to make a 10% contribution raised from independent
sources – this is where the Match Pot appeal comes in.
pound you donate to the appeal can potentially unlock £10 of funding
from the LCF. Giving wildlife a chance is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. You donate to the Match Pot appeal.
Conservation can apply for up to 10 times the amount of your donation
from the LCF.
3. Work to restore and create vital habitats
is carried out, butterfly and moth numbers increase and a healthier
environment is created for everyone!
conservation projects really work and have already yielded great
results. Targeting habitat restoration on networks of sites
across a landscape allows existing populations to expand and
encourages greater connectivity so that butterflies can move and
colonise new areas. It’s not too late to reverse declines and
secure a future for butterflies and moths if we join together and take
Click here to increase your donation by 10x
Join Butterfly Conservation -
click here to
go to the National Butterfly Conservation website to join.
Heath Work Parties
If you would like to help
with the conservation of Purdis Heath to help the Silver-studded Blue
there are work parties on the first Satuday of each month
Helen Saunders for details
Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey
The WCBS is a national scheme which complements the
transects of the UK BMS with mini transects walked in squares randomly
selected by the BTO computer. Volunteers from Butterfly
Conservation and the BTO need to walk just twice per year in July and
August (with an optional spring walk if you wish). This means
that the commitment is not heavy.
We have three squares
in need of a volunteer
OS Grid Reference,
Town/Parish, Post Code
TL8381 Thetford (west)
TL8482 Thetford (west) IP24 3QP
Flixton, Lowestoft NR32 5PB
Email our WCBS co-ordinator,
to volunteer for one of these squares
Download the 2014 report
BMS - Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
- British Trust for Ornithology
New Chair for Suffolk Branch of
After 10 years Mike Dean
has stepped down as Chair of SBBC. The new Chair is Peter
Maddison who was elected at the AGM.
Mike - "I am very sad to
be leaving the Suffolk Branch committee as Chair after so many years
'at the helm' but I really do believe a fresh look with a new Chair
will set Suffolk up for the years ahead.
I will miss working with
the committee, who are a super bunch of folk, but I wish them all well
as things go forward under the expert guidance of our new Chair, Peter
Thank you, everyone!"
Peter - "Three years
arranging the Events Programme and seven years editing the Suffolk
Argus have given me good incite into the Branch, I hope, and plenty to
think about when I considered being nominated for Chair!
delighted to have the support of the AGM and look forward to the busy
We will miss Mike Dean and his jocular style
but I know that he will remain in close contact with the Branch and I
wish him well in his role as Vice Chairman of Butterfly Conservation."
Brown Hairstreak (Thecla betulae) in Suffolk ?
We have been receiving sightings of the Brown Hairsteak in Suffolk.
According to the literature, including The Butterflies of Suffolk by
Mendel and Piotrowski (1986), this butterfly was recorded in Suffolk in
the early 1900s but then a gap of nearly 50 years until two sightings in
the 1940s at Stanton and Bently Woods. They wrote 'there is a
slim chance that it may again be discovered in some forgotten corner'.
It would seem that 70 years later this may have happened.
Bill Stone (Suffolk Butterfly Recorder) writes
County Butterfly Recorder one of the privileges attached to the role is
to be able to reveal the sighting of a rare butterfly or, the occurrence
of a new species or, perhaps the most important, the reoccurrence of a
species thought lost to the county. The Brown Hairstreak is a
species that falls in the latter category. Recently, information was
passed to me which strongly suggested that Brown Hairstreak was flying
in the county. But, and of particular note, that this species had
been present in Suffolk for a number of years. Disappointingly,
those with knowledge of these Suffolk Brown Hairstreaks had not felt
that they could share this either with me as current County Recorder or
with Rob Parker my predecessor.
That aside, the butterfly's
presence has now been reliably confirmed again in Suffolk and we should
now welcome and celebrate that this species is flying, albeit in small
numbers in our county. In the last few weeks the species has been
recorded by way of photographed adults and of the presence of laid eggs
on mature and established Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) stands
within the Orwell Country Park, Ipswich and along Belstead Meadows.
In addition, a number of references to the Brown Hairstreak being found
in the Ipswich area have been published online via social media along
with site details. The butterfly is also believed to be present at a
number of locations, in suitable Blackthorn habitat in the Copdock,
Capel and Bentley areas. However, these sightings still need to be
substantiated and evidenced.
is unclear at present if these Brown Hairstreaks are the result of a
deliberate introduction, by way of their presence on planted Blackthorn
or the natural remnants of a population thought lost. So, in respect of
accurately recording Suffolk's Brown Hairstreak then I would ask the
Firstly, to those who have been aware of Brown
Hairstreak before now then I would ask you to send me your records with
as many details as possible. This will help me to add records
relating to previous years and establish the butterfly in our county
Secondly, I would encourage recorders to now look for
the butterfly in the areas identified above and report any sightings or
evidence of the butterfly's presence. But, please respect these
locations, keep to footpaths and keep your disturbance to an absolute
However, given that we are now at the end of the Brown
Hairstreaks flight season the best way of recording is to search in the
winter months for eggs laid on Blackthorn. A female Brown Hairstreak
will lay her tiny sea-urchin type white eggs singly on the twigs of
blackthorn, normally no higher than about six feet. Normally, the
eggs are laid close to new growth (1-2 years), near a bud or developing
spine. (See the photo). The eggs then pass the winter in this
state, with the larva hatching the following spring by way of it cutting
a hole in the top of the egg. Please let me know of any eggs located
See the sightings page for Sep 9th and 11th (click
If you see or have
seen a Brown Hairstreak at any stage of the lifecycle please email
2016 Photographic Competition
At the 2016 AGM there will be a photo competition for photos and
videos taken in the UK or abroad by a member of SBBC.
1. Still photo taken in the UK
2. Still photo
taken outside the UK
3. A video or digital slide show.
|Do we have your email address?
It will help us to communicate changes to events (as above) if
we have your email address.
Please email your name to
using your normal email address
and email address as the subject. This can then be added to our
us on Twitter.
But still send your sightings to
When to See Butterflies.
Butterflies page lists the butterflies that can be seen in Suffolk,
shows when you can expect to see them and the foodplants upon which their caterpillars feed.
We can also
help if you would like advice about making your garden more attractive
News page for dates of First Sightings
Like much of the UK, Suffolk's countryside
and wildlife are under increasing pressure. It's a situation that is
unlikely to improve in the forseeable future and there's never been a
more urgent need to understand and conserve our butterfly fauna. The
county has a gently undulating landscape of surprising contrasts,
defying the stereotype of "flat East Anglia and its arable prairies". The unspoilt coast, intimate river valleys and, especially, the
Sandlings heaths and Brecks ensure that Suffolk retains a more varied
butterfly fauna than might be expected.
Some recommended books are listed here
The Branch is always grateful for butterfly records and a
recording form can be downloaded from the recording
page of this
We would be particularly grateful for records away from the
coast and information on the following species:
Green Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak, White Letter Hairstreak,
Silver-studded Blue, Wall Brown, White Admiral, Silver-washed Fritillary, Grayling and Small
email your sightings to us at
Recent Sightings can be viewed here
Conservation and Recording
- about the Brimstone and Buckthorn project
Help us to record Brimstone
butterflies in Suffolk
- links to more
Translocation to Blaxhall Common -
Ecological Survey of Selected
Silver-studded Blue Sites in 2009
Silver-Washed Fritillary - link
for more information
Fritillary returns to Suffolk
Purple Emperor -
link for more information
a new project, aimed at restoring lowland heathland habitat of 300
hectares on 14 sites in Ipswich, has been awarded a Wren Biodiversity
Action Fund grant of over £100,000.
More details here