Big Borders Butterfly Count to raise awareness of key pollinators

Published: 15th July 2022

Borderers of all ages are being encouraged to get out into nature this summer and take part in a nationwide butterfly count aimed at helping conserve one of Britain’s key pollinators.

We are supporting the Big Butterfly Count, a UK-wide citizen science survey, aimed at helping assess the health of our environment simply by counting the amount and type of butterflies (and some day-flying moths) we see.

The campaign, which is the biggest survey of butterflies in the world, also raises awareness of how vital they are to our ecosystem and the importance of maintaining their natural habitats due to sharply declining numbers.

In May the Butterfly Conservation revealed half of Britain’s remaining butterfly species are now on the red list, meaning they’re threatened or near-threatened with extinction.

Promoting biodiversity across the Borders is a critical aim for us as it achieves the goals set out in last year’s Climate Change Route Map to become more sustainable and do more to protect the environment.

To support biodiversity across the region and help pollinators such as butterflies thrive, we have made significant changes to the way services such as its grass cutting regime operate.

This means certain grassy areas are being cut less frequently or left as nature intended to help support richer biodiversity across the towns and villages of the Borders and provide the perfect habitats for pollinators. More Wildflower areas are also being introduced in identified areas to further support their ecosystem.

The Count, which launches today, and the information gathered through it, will be crucially important in helping scientists understand more about what is happening to the nation’s butterflies and therefore put in place the conservation measures needed to protect them.

The Big Butterfly Count begins on Friday 15th July 2022 and will run until Sunday 7th August.

Borderers can get involved in the Big Butterfly Count by downloading and submitting information via the App on a smartphone.

Participants can spend as little as 15 minutes observing in a location for their choice – whether that’s a back garden, on a walk, visiting a local park or area of greenspace nearby.

Useful resources including details on how to get involved, downloadable identification charts and more information about the campaign can be found on the Big Butterfly Count website

Councillor Jenny Linehan, Executive Member for Environment & Transport

“The Big Butterfly Count is a fantastic initiative helping to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators like butterflies and their sharp decline in recent years.

“As a Council SBC is making a concerted effort to take more responsibility for its impact on the climate and promote more sustainable practices wherever possible.

“That’s why residents will see lesser-used areas of grass left to grow longer and more and more wildflower meadows sown across our towns and villages as we promote natural habitats in which butterflies and other key pollinators can thrive.

“The Count is something people of all ages can get involved in and I’d urge as many people as possible to have a go at participating to help preserve these beautiful species and learn more about the important role they play within the world’s ecosystem.”