Farmland butterflies bounce back
The annual Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) recorded almost double the number of insects compared with the previous year.
Long, sunny periods provided perfect breeding conditions for some of the UK’s brightest species, it suggested.
But experts warned the mild winter could reverse the insects’ fortunes if they emerged too early for spring.
The survey has been run by Butterfly Conservation, the British Trust for Ornithology and The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology since 2009.
Last year, volunteers monitored 850 randomly selected 1km squares across UK farmland.
With more than 70% of the UK’s land area devoted to agriculture, the survey provides a broader picture of butterfly health across the country, rather than in hotspots such as nature reserves or gardens.
Dr Zoe Randle from Butterfly Conservation, who co-ordinated the survey, said the results were some of the best ever recorded for common and widespread species.
Read the full story here.