Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation
Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch
Saving butterflies, moths and our environment

Butterflies of the Wide Countryside Recording Survey

Link sections on this page . . .
Where are we surveying?
How to plan the survey
Obtaining access to the survey route within squares
How to survey
When to survey and recording criteria
Exceptions to general recording rules
Species identification
Co-ordinator contact details
National results for year one (2009)
National results for year two (2010)
National results for year three (2011)
National results for year four (2012)
National results for year five (2013)
National results for year six (2014)
National results for year seven (2015) [5.76mb]
National results for year seven (2016)
Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey - national link
Return to Recording Introduction Page

Can you spare time on 2 days in July and August to visit a grid square and do two 1km walks to record butterflies? This method is intended to compliment, not replace transects, and enable records from a wide variety of habitats to be collected. Some squares will be rich in butterflies, others less so, but all results will be important.

This survey is done in 1km squares and selected at random by the national survey co-ordinator. The squares are:

1km square

Location

Volunteer found

Wider countryside map for Herts & Middx

TL2305

Welham Green


TL2316

Welwyn (not Garden City)


TL3212

Hertford

YES



TQ2480

Ladbroke Grove

YES


TL2722

Aston (SE of Stevenage)

YES



TL1734

south of Henlow (N tip of Herts/Beds border)


TL2332

eastern Letchworth



TL1031

north of Hexton (part in Beds)


TL1232

Apsley End (part in Beds)



TL2502

Swanley Bar/Little Heath

TL2804

Northaw Great Wood

TL2831

between Clothall and Rushden

YES

TL2904

Cuffley Camp

TL3000

west of Crews Hill

TL3128

south of Cottered

YES

TL3207

Broxbourne Wood (south of Brickendon)

TL3618

High Cross

YES

TL4135

North east of Nuthampstead

YES

TL4216

North of Widford

TL4421

west of Bury Green near Little Hadham

TL4717

Trims Green west of Spellbrook, south of Bishops Stortford

YES

TQ1492

Harrow Weald Common southern half

YES

TQ1593

Bentley priory/Stanmore Common

YES

TQ2397

London Shire golf course west of Monken Hadley

TQ2688

east side of Hampstead Garden Suburb

YES

TQ2782

Baker Street/Regents Park

YES

How to plan the survey

If you are a surveying a square that has been allocated to you, it will be necessary to establish a fixed survey route through the square The survey route is two parallel 1-km long survey lines across your square (running N-S or E-W), that are subdivided into ten continuous 200m sections numbered 1-10.

Obtaining access to the survey route within squares

A large number of 1-km squares have paths, roads, bridleways or open access across them. This information can be gathered from an OS map and the open access website (www.gov.uk/right-of-way-open-access-land/overview). Unless there is open access to your whole square then it is important that you contact the landowner to gain permission to carry out the survey visits. We advise contacting the nearest dwelling to your square either by telephoning to arrange a visit or by sending them a letter. A letter template is available which outlines the reasons why the surveys are being carried out and what they entail. Click here for a copy of the template

How to survey

When to survey and recording criteria

  • A minimum of two visits to each square are required to take part in this survey and these should take place in July and August, with at least 10 days between the two visits.
  • In addition, one or two further visits can be made to the square during May, June, July or August with at least 10 days between visits.
  • If possible return visits to squares should be made at the same time of day.
  • Record the time at which you start and end each survey line (1-km) on the survey recording form.
  • Survey lines should generally be walked between 10.45am and 15.45pm and only when weather conditions are suitable for butterfly activity: dry conditions, wind speed less than Beaufort Scale 5 and temperature 13°C or greater if there is at least 60% sunshine, or more than 17°C if overcast.
  • If a distinct shadow is cast (bright cloud) then conditions may be classed as sunny.
  • If possible, sunshine should be estimated for each section to the nearest 10% of the time it was sunny while you were walking that section (shade cast by features such as trees does not count).
  • At the end of each survey visit, record shade temperature (e.g. with a portable thermometer placed in a shaded position at the beginning of the first survey line before you start), estimate average sunshine (based on section data), and average windspeed, using the following Beaufort Scale (see Table 1).

Exceptions to general recording rules:

  • It is also permissible to record from 09:30-10:45 and 15:45-16:30, if at these times the majority (>75%) of the survey area is unshaded and the standard (described above) weather criteria have been met.

Species identification

Try to identify and separate all species you encounter, including where possible similar species such as Small and Essex Skipper, and the 'cabbage' whites.

If you would like to volunteer to survey one of the vacant squares or have more information please contact Andrew Wood (details on Committee page)
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