Welcome to the Suffolk Branch of Butterfly Conservation
Butterfly Conservation is a
registered charity dedicated to the conservation of butterflies and
Join Butterfly Conservation -
click here to
go to the National Butterfly Conservation website to join.
The post of County Butterfly Recorder
will become available at the end of 2020 when the present Recorder,
Bill Stone, retires from the role.
The post is a Suffolk
Naturalists’ Society position, and anyone wishing to receive further
details of the role should contact:
Martin Sanford, Chair,
Suffolk Naturalists’ Society
Or Peter Maddison, Chair, Suffolk Branch of Butterfly Conservation
The Recorder’s role is
to encourage accurate recording of butterflies in Suffolk, to verify
and keep county butterfly records and to produce an annual butterfly
report for publication in the Suffolk Naturalists’ Society
Transactions and the Suffolk
Branch of BC Argus.
In order to promote butterfly recording the Recorder has to be able to
engage with a wide range of stakeholders, wildlife groups,
individuals, and an enthusiastic group of butterfly recorders
(approximately 70 individuals) within the county.
Sharing the duties of this role could be considered.
Next Local Events -
Coronavirus - Butterfly Recording
1st June 2020
Further significant changes relating to outdoor
activities have been made to the government restrictions that were
brought in March to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Across the UK,
the key message remains to stay at home as much as possible and to
follow social distancing rules. However, the specific details vary
from country to country.
In England and Northern Ireland, it is
now possible for butterfly and moth recording to resume for people who
are not shielding or self-isolating.
Click here for details from Butterfly Conservation
UKBMS - Over the last few weeks restrictions relating to outdoor
activities have been relaxing at varying pace across the different
nations of the UK. We were able to resume butterfly monitoring
in England from 14th May
Click here for full details from UKBMS
All events that were planned for 2020 are currently
but are still listed on our events page
Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey
Over the last few weeks restrictions relating to outdoor activities
have been relaxing at varying pace across the different nations of the
UK. We were able to resume butterfly monitoring in England from
Click here for full details from UKBMS
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.
The Wider Countryside
Butterfly Scheme (WCBS) Report 2018 has been
Click here to download a copy in pdf format.
Over the past
nine years volunteers have monitored butterflies in a selection of 1
km squares. In July and August 2017, on two walks along fixed routes,
774 squares were surveyed nationally, 39 squares in Suffolk. The
Report is an interesting read showing not only the results of
butterfly species numbers and analysis, but also a guide to some
day-flying moths which recorders are encouraged to include. If you
have not previously been part of the scheme but would like to become
involved in 2018 contact Twm Wade at the email address below.
We have 11 squares
in need of a volunteer. For details
of the squares click here for the WCBS page
Ipswich (Hospital and Copleston High School)
South Elmham and Metfield
Email our WCBS co-ordinator,
to volunteer for one of these squares
reports by clicking on the following years
BMS - Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
- British Trust for Ornithology
Forest Work at Theberton Woods
Forest England (FE) have notified forest work planned for later
this year. Preliminary work will be necessary to upgrade the
turning area to enable modern lorries to manoeuvre. Forest
England is aware of concerns for wildlife, including the Purple
Emperors. The mature oaks favoured by the Purple Emperor will
not be felled. The sallows will not be cut - except where they
are obstructing the rides. The works that are being planned are
Flail flat (via hedge
cutter) all vegetation on the sides and banks surrounding the lorry
turnaround thereby allowing Civil Engineering to see the full extent
of the turnaround prior to them extending it for full length lorries.
(In the past it was common practice for timber haulage to be
undertaken by eight-wheelers.)
Civil Engineering will grade the lorry turnaround and remove all the
vegetation and soil from the surface so it does not hold water and
allows the road to drain properly. Crushed stone will then be
brought in and laid and allowed to settle prior to use later in the
FE will be
surveying the wood to look at what areas should be thinned.
There are several stands of oak that may well be included. The
timing of the work is still to be confirmed as there are several
European Protected Species within the wood and FE also want to
minimise any disturbance or damage to nesting birds. FE is
working closely with Suffolk Biological Records and the County
Wildlife Recorders to ensure all of their operations are properly
It is planned that
all timber extraction will be kept off the rides but should there be
any damage then this would be reinstated. The thinning
operations will greatly improve the overall habitat of the wood and
will also greatly assist natural regeneration.
Next few weeks:-
Because the contractors have phased out
their 8-wheeler lorries, the extraction will be done on longer
lorries. Unfortunately these lorries need more space to turn
than is available in the present turning/loading area (known to some
as the observation arena for Purple Emperor). This work will
begin in the next few weeks. The first phase will be the removal
of broom, gorse and other scrub obstructing the track into the forest.
It will also entail felling some trees to make space for the lorries
to turn. The difference in height between the forest rides and
the turning area will necessitate a ramp. The whole turning area
will be surfaced with crushed stone. Obviously all this has to
be finished before the felling operation can begin.
Forest England is mindful of the presence of Purple Emperors, and
intends that there will be no long-term impact on the butterflies.
For more about
the history of the Purple Emperor in Theberton Woods click here
The Suffolk Argus is
the newsletter of Suffolk Butterfly Conservation and is produced three
times a year.
It contains news and articles about the
butterflies of Suffolk.
read the current edition by clicking here
Archive - You can
view previous editions in the archive. This has every edition
from Spring 2011.
To view the archive click here
website for Suffolk Moths
Conservation is for moths as well as butterflies. There is now a
new website with comprehensive information about the moths of Suffolk
with photographs, distribution maps and latest sighting dates.
You can submit your own moth sightings as well.
Have a look at
the new site here
End June Update- Suffolk Butterfly
Recording 2019- "Black-Holes"
is a map of the Suffolk recording area which shows the areas remaining
as at end of June 2019 without any butterfly records i.e.
"black-holes" that exist, these are shown by the dark-blue spots.
For a list of the Grid References of the
tetrads click here to go
to the Black Holes page
Based on the
map the following tetrads in the table on the Black Holes page should be visited in order to increase
county coverage. 2019 represents the final year of the current
five-year recording period for the Butterflies of the New Millennium
recording scheme so this is an incredibly important year
Distribution Maps for 2014 to 2018
The latest distribution maps for Suffolk
butterflies have now been produced by Bill Stone the Suffolk Butterfly
Recorder. The maps are based on results received during 2014 to
2018 from several sources including those shown on the
Sightings Page of this website. For
anyone who has the maps produced 15 years ago* they show significant
differences for some species. For example the Wall is now almost
entirely restricted to the coast and the Silver-washed Fritillary was
not present in Suffolk.
see the maps click here
2019 is the final year of
for the New Millennium (BNM) recording scheme so every sighting
received will contribute to the new Butterfly Atlas which will be
produced by Butterfly Conservation.
You can see the UK distibution maps for
the most recent five-year survey of the Butterflies for the New
Millennium (BNM) recording scheme (2010-2014).
Click here to download the Atlas of UK
Butterflies 2010-2014 in pdf format (11 MB).
*The Millennium Atlas of Suffolk Butterflies, 2001, by Richard
Stewart. Published by Suffolk Naturalists'Society. £5 from SNS [You
can order from Ipswich Museum by phone, 01473 433547].
UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
Some interesting information here. The 10 year trend shows a
31% decline in the Purple Emperor despite an increase in Suffolk.
The Marbled White has had a 111% increase but still not crossing the
border into Suffolk.
Click here to access the 2018 Summary of Changes table for the
UK. The table includes trend estimates for 57 species regularly
recorded in the UK and for which sufficient data is available.
Click here to access the 2018 Country-level Summary of Changes
tables for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The tables
include trend estimates for all species regularly recorded in the
respective countries and for which sufficient data is available
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.
Download in pdf format the full 'State of UK Butterflies 2015' report here
|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