Welcome to the Yorkshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation  

Butterflies are not only beautiful and fascinating creatures but are also highly responsive to the environment. David Attenborough described them as  'A thermometer of the health of our natural world'  Many species of butterfly are in decline and a quarter are facing extinction.  We have lost more than 98% of our traditional meadows and woodland in recent times so it is crucial  we raise awareness about the threats facing our butterflies, moths, their habitats and our natural environment.  Yorkshire Branch  work in partnership with land owners, local authorities, conservation bodies, businesses and the local community to achieve this. Here in Yorkshire  the Duke of Burgundy and Pearl Bordered  Fritillary are particularly vulnerable due to habitat loss and increasingly susceptible to extinction. Yorkshire also has the only remaining colony of the  Dark Bordered Beauty Moth in England, on Strensall Common and is on the brink of extinction.  

Become a member today and help us save butterflies, moths and their habitats. There are many rewarding roles volunteering in recording and conservation just take a look at our Branch leaflet HERE . We have a real challenge when 60% of children in the UK have never seen a Peacock butterfly according to a YouGov Survey and  78% of parents are concerned that children don’t spend enough time interacting with nature.  Founded in 1981 Yorkshire branch has more than 1800 members and nearly 100 transect walkers go out each week in summer  to monitor  butterfly sites across the county while dozens more join work parties to maintain habitat for our rarest species.

Your Guide to the Website

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First Sightings 2023

First sightings comparison

 We are on the TELLY!  The wonderful late Susan Stead and our Nick Hall talk to Michael Portillo for The BBC’s Great British Railway Journeys. at Shipley Meadow + Denso Marston NR episode no 5 in series 14  released on iplayer HERE 


Nov 27th:  Butterfly Safari  Join us online HERE  with the wonderful photographer Andrew Fusek Peters. Andrew will talk about the five years he spent travelling round the UK to photograph UK butterfly species, many captured in flight. 

26th November:  National Moth Recorders' meeting:  These provide a great opportunity to hear about progress with the National Moth Recording Scheme, find out the latest developments in moth research and conservation with fellow recorders. The meeting is open to anyone interested in moth recording and conservation. There will be a meeting for County Moth Recorders and Verification Assistants during the lunch break. Book HERE Agenda HERE

21st November: A new Biodiversity Index report on Scotlands Butterflies was published by NatureScot  today which shows a good deal of similarity with the Yorkshire data. They report a 35%  increases in overall Butterfly populations since 1980's compared to a 26% in Yorkshire since the 1990's. Much of the increase is accountable from species moving north but 3 species showed significant declines included Small Copper, Green-viened white and Small Tortoiseshell.  Numerically Yorkshire sees the same species declining including Small Skipper which has only reached Scotland in recent years. The report  only speculates on the reasons including climate change, Land management particularly drainage for the intensification of upland farming is implicated in decline of endangered Large Heath

19th November:  Shipley Station Meadow held its annual meadow mowing  day.  To celebrate the late Susan Stead a holly tree  was planted in her memory along with a plaque  recognising her lifetime commitment to preserve this tiny meadow and its butterflies  A big thank you to all those who attended.

15th November:  BC Yorkshire has its regular series of Zoom talks  this winter.  First up is James Lowen talking about his recent book "Much ado about mothing" A year intoxicated by Britain's rare and remarkable moths. For an exciting evening book  here

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