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

Menu Headings


First Sightings 2024

First sightings comparison

17th March A Review of the 2023 Butterfly season in Yorkshire from our monitored sites. It was so nearly a record year but there were still lots of losers


21th May  Day Flying Moth ID course  now available on YourTube HERE . Why not expand your knowledge of those mysterious day-flying moths we can't identify.  We will cover 32 commonly seen species from 8 families with tips on how to tell similar species apart.  We want to encourage everyone to start identifying moths as they are 30 times more species of moth than butterfly with equally exquisite lives and  equally colourful.

13th May The last two days airflow coming up from Africa and southern Europe has brought us good numbers of Silver Y's and a few Painted Ladies.  Summer is coming at last, Hoorah!

13 May Join us at Hell Wath Reserve Bioblitz at Ripon on June 15 from 8am with moth trap opening and midday Butterfly walk and ID session but there is a variety of events all day. 

22nd April The campaign to save Severus Hill, Holgate, York as a nature reserve by purchasing it from the water company before it is developed has now launched here - https://crowdfunder.co.uk/p/severushill Help protect rare calcareous grassland and several scarce species of butterfly before it scrubs up. 

19th April  Allowing grass to grow long in your garden can greatly boost butterflies. Along with having Holly or Ivy present plus if you live in a city or arable farming area can boost numbers upto 90%. This research by BC  involved 600 gardens in the Garden Butterfly Scheme. Proof at last! ...take a lookHERE

16th April  Our latest video is a Butterfly ID course. which we co hosted with Yorkshire Wildlife.  It is dedicated to helping our hundreds of Yorkshire butterfly surveyors  identify tricky species like the 6 different white species below; not only still, but more importantly, in flight! It takes an in depth study  of each of our species with the techniques you can use to help you be as accurate as possible on your transect walk. 

15th April Our spring newsletter ARGUS 99 is now available to download HERE

 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 

Twitter Feed

Facebook Feed