by Countryside Alliance

Thanks to an unusually warm and wet summer in 2019, butterfly numbers have increased, making it their best season in 22 years.

The latest results from the annual UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS) led by Butterfly Conservation, the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), reveal that just over half of UK butterfly species showed higher population levels in 2019 compared with 2018.

Four species – the Chequered Skipper, Orange tip, Brimstone and Marbled White – had their best year known since records began.

Butterflies benefited from targeted conservation management to protect and improve their habitats, as well as an unusually warm and wet summer, which ensured that lush plants were available for caterpillars to feed upon.

In a statement on the Government blog, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: "Through our 25 Year Environment Plan we have committed to help threatened and iconic species, including butterflies, to recover and thrive. This includes through creating or restoring 500,000 hectares of wildlife rich habitat as part of a Nature Recovery Network across England."

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