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' Almost every species of butterfly is in decline and a quarter are facing extinction. We have lost more than 97% 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; you will be surprised to find out what is on your doorstep! 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 wil be 40 years old next year and has more than 1700 members.

Your Guide to the Website

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Nature is in crisis. Play your part to protect our planet. Butterfly Conservation are calling on you to be YourOwnButterflyEffect and make changes in your life. From how you eat, shop, garden and even enjoy nature itself, discover how you can make a difference see here


Wing 'clap' solves mystery of butterfly flight

January 21st Researchers have struggled to understand how butterflies can fly with their large but inefficient wings. Now, a new study shows that butterflies evolved an effective way of cupping and clapping their wings to generate thrust. Butterflies have unusually large wings relative to their body size, which are aerodynamically inefficient for flight.

Now, Swedish scientists, using a wind tunnel and high-speed cameras, have captured the butterfly's unique flying skill. The leading and the trailing edge are meeting before the central part, forming this pocket shape. This behaviour improves the clap because it forms an air pocket between the wings which, when the wings collapse, that makes the jet even stronger and more efficient.

January 17th What have moths ever done for us?? Well...how about rescue us from Covid 19? Yes! 60 million doses from Novavax are on order made by moth cells. The second wave of Covid caccines are expected to be approved after phase 3 trials very soon. They include one manufacturered using a moth, the Noctuid Spodoptera frugiperda or 'Fall Army Worm' (Adult below) . Cells were extracted from the formimg ovaries of a caterpillar back in the 1970's. These are cultured with the advantage they never change and are immortal. In a extremely safe process the moth cells are 'brewed' in 2000 ltr bioreactors at Fujifilm's bio pharmaceutical site at Billingham. The moth cells are then infected with a moth virus that carries the DNA code to make the moth cells produce the antigen protein. This vaccine then causes our bodies to make antibodies that that bind to the Covid virus deactivating it. Proven now to be 1st in its class it produces a response in humans significantly greater than catching Covid itself. Thank you Moths! Have you had the moth jab?

February 2nd 13:00-14:15 Micro-moth field signs a Free Webinar with Ben Smart : Find them at any time of year including January

Many micro-moth species can be recorded in the field without encountering the adult moths. Such field work involves using a variety of techniques to detect the early stages of the moths and can be performed at any time of the year. Searching through leaf litter, collecting fallen leaves, opening stems and catkins, and looking in ponds can all be productive ways to record Britain’s microlepidoptera.This webinar will reveal some of these techniques, particular looking at those species to be found at this time of year. We will end with an interactive question and answer session.

Book your space via Eventbrite and you will be sent information on how to join the free webinar here

Help conserve the rare Duke of Burgundy Butterfly


Conservation Work Parties Winter 2021

Numbers are limited to six and booking is essential more details by clicking dates below

Saturday March 6th 2021 from 9.30am to 3pm Hawnby

Saturday March 13th 2021 from 9.30am to 3pm Gowerdale , Hawnby

Saturday March 21th 2021 from 9.30am to 3pm Pickering Woods

Saturday March 27th 2021 from 9.30am to 3pm Gowerdale, Hawnby

Although this might appear as foolish optimism and can only take place if current restrictions are lifted and we return to the rule of 6. Some of us have already been vacinated and there is light at the end of the tunnel and this work delayed from last year and already reaaranged twice this year is essential. The work parties will be conducted in accordance with Butterfly Conservation coronavirus protocols. Please read the branch coronavirus work party guidelines which are published on the website before you book here Other details of meeting places and directions are above.

Numbers are limited to six and booking is essential. If you want to come please email me on webmaster@yorkshirebutterflies.org.uk giving your email address, postcode, and a phone number on which you can be contacted. I will confirm a place or put you on a reserve list in case anyone needs to drop out. Please come in outdoor work clothing and suitable shoes/boots for the work along a muddy track and bring a packed lunch and drink. I look forward to meeting you. Nick

Contacts : Nick Hall 07599 455245 webmaster@yorkshirebutterflies.org.uk

Robert Parks 07792 976 486 r.parks13@yahoo.com


Photo Competition Winners : Well done to all that entered

Below is a small selection of some of the stunning images - for full results and winning images see here

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