Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Forget Brexit for a while and count the butterflies, Attenborough tells Brits

David Attenborough David Attenborough
Lora Ball | 22 July, 2018, 10:10

Sensing a chill, Ms Munchetty said: "I understand your reluctance to talk about that conversation but perhaps you'd be keen to talk about RRS Sir David Attenborough" - referring to a polar research ship Sir David recently launched on Merseyside.

Now conditions we've experience, a cold winter followed by a hot spring and summer, are ideal for butterflies to flourish, but their numbers could tank if these conditions reach drought levels and caterpillars run out of plants to eat.

People in Suffolk are being encouraged to spot and record 17 species of common butterflies and two types of day-flying moths until August 12.

Described as "taking the pulse" of nature, butterflies are one of the species that react very quickly to change in their environment, making them excellent biodiversity indicators.

He said: "A few precious moments spent watching a stunning red admiral or peacock butterfly feeding amongst the flowers in my garden never fails to bring me great pleasure". There's a matter of urgency with the 2018 version as most naturally occurring species of butterfly in the United Kingdom are in long-term decline, with the recent heat-wave making matters potentially worse this year.

'Spending time with nature enables us to experience joy and wonder, to slow down and to appreciate the wildlife that lives side by side with us'.

Sir David promoting the Big Butterfly Count which will start of 6 August
Sir David promoting the Big Butterfly Count which will start of 6 August

Sit for 15 minutes in your garden or a park with your eyes peeled and make a note of what you see.

The big butterfly count was launched in 2010 in an attempt to assess the state of the nation's wildlife, and has rapidly become the world's biggest survey of butterflies: a year ago over 60,000 people took part. In short, if the number of butterflies is declining, it is a warning sign for other losses to come.

Species in long-term decline on farmland include the gatekeeper, large skipper and small tortoiseshell.

Conservation groups have placed the blame on the shoulders of farmers, citing pesticide use and the loss of wild areas as the main antagonists.

TV nature expert and president of the organisation, Sir David said last year's results showed one of the worst on record for butterfly numbers in the UK.

Radiohead Return To Toronto Seeking Answers Over Fatal Stage Collapse
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Prince George turns five with a smile
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Americans share 2nd-round lead
Rory McIlroy intends to attack his final 18 holes at The Open to try and get himself in contention for the Claret Jug on Sunday. An eagle followed, and it gave a wonderful insight into the mind of a champion who is playing with confidence and calmness.

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