Bring on the butterflies

Whether you have one pot or a large plot, follow our top tips below for creating a Wild Space to attract butterflies and moths ready to start counting.  The count will take place from Friday 12th July and run to Sunday 4th August 2024.

Butterflies and moths need places to feed, breed and shelter. Give them a reason to visit your outdoor space by providing what they need to do one or all of these things!

Feed:  The number one way to bring butterflies and moths into your Wild Space? Provide them with the things they love to eat. Great sources of nectar include flowers like Scabious, Lavender, and Verbena bonariensis. You can also try adding herbs like Rosemary, Thyme and Marjoram, or climbers like Honeysuckle and Jasmine. Plant them in a border in bigger spaces or add to pots or window boxes if room is limited. Even one pot can make a difference!

Breed:  Butterflies and moths like to lay their eggs on or near the plants that their caterpillars like to eat. To attract them to your Wild Space, add some caterpillar favourites like Ivy, Nasturtiums, and Bird’s-foot-trefoil, or just let a patch of grass or nettles grow – nettles are the foodplant of Red Admirals, Small Tortoiseshells, Commas and several other species!

Shelter:  Adult butterflies and moths and their caterpillars need places to shelter to protect them from the elements and to help them avoid predators. If you’ve got a large space, like a garden, create a log pile using old branches, sticks and leaves. Or, if you’ve got a smaller space, like a balcony, try adding Ivy in a trellis planter or create a mini log pile on a tray for easy maintenance.

Don’t have a Wild Space? Don’t worry – you can still take part in the Big Butterfly Count! Head out to your local park, green space, or even find an un-mown verge and spend 15 minutes counting what you see.

 Take part in the Big Butterfly Count


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