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
Yorkshire Moths our sister website returns refreshed and new HERE
First Sightings 2023
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.
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