Butterfly Conservation
Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch
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Welcome to the Hertfordshire & Middlesex branch of Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation is a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of butterflies and moths

Click on the above image for information on which moths are present including their abundance & distribution
For the latest moth sightings also see the Herts & Middx Moth facebook page

Forthcoming events

*** All events arranged by the Branch are free ***

Latest news and information
The Whippendell & Cassiobury butterfly report 2023 by Rick Vickers and Pete Fewell is available to view

Congratulations to Liz Goodyear for winning the Hertfordsire Natural History Society 1875 award for her outstanding contributiion to natural history in the county (Photo: © HNHS)

Liz Goodyear 1875 award

Long-tailed Blue in Ickenham garden on 7 October

Press Release of the Big Butterfly Count Results in 2023

Big Butterfly Count Results 2023

**** IMPORTANT Please read the latest guidance on Lyme Disease

Today's (12 June) Country Diary in the Guardian features the Small Blue at the Hexton Chalk Pit. Click here for details

Who are the winners of the photo competition? Click here to find out

The hot dry summer in 2022 impacts butterfly populations according to a study by the UKBMS. For details click here

Andrew Wood's talk on butterflies and moths in Herts and Middx in 2022 can be viewed here

Butterfly & moth records 2022 - Andrew Wood

Press Release of Butterfly Report in 2022

Butterfly Report in 2022

View Roger Gibbons' video of A Meander through the Alps
A Meander through the Alps - Roger Gibbons

Watch the video for the latest on the Big City Butterflies Project 2021-2025

Big City Butterflies Project 2021-2025

80% of butterflies have declined in the UK. Read the The State of the UK's Butterflies 2022 Report

Know your butterflies outside our area? Check out Roger Gibbons' informative video of UK's Butterflies you won't see in Herts & Middx
UK Butterflies not seen in Herts or Middx - Roger Gibbons

Read the latest update on Millhoppers Reserve

Well done to Lucy Claxton for reporting our first butterfly of the year (13 January) - Peacock in Ickleford

Watch Ian Small's excellent video of Ghana's Forest Butterflies
Ghana's Forest Butterflies - Ian Small

**** IMPORTANT **** If you have not done so already, please submit your 2022 butterfly records to Andrew Wood. For details how read the following instructions
Moths Matter: Butterfly Conservation are running a campaign to encourage nature lovers to become involved with moths. To find out more please read the leaflet here

Big Butterfly Count: a good year for the Gatekeeper and the blues - more revealed here

Death's-head Hawk-moth seen in Stevenage on 6 October - more details on sightings page

Camberwell Beauty seen in Letchworth on 7 September - more details on sightings page. Life cycle of this butterfly can be seen here

Revised RED List of Butterflies in Great Britain - read here

Large Tortoiseshell spotted in west London on 10 May

Programme of the branch butterfly and moth events for 2022 can be read here

The Members' Day 2022 presentations can be viewed here

Can you help in conserving butterflies in the Big City Butterflies project? Please register to volunteer here

Who are the winners in the 2022 online photo competition? Find out here

Online photo competition 2022 winners

Informative talk on butterfly behaviour by Roger Gibbons can now be viewed here

Butterfly Behaviour - Roger Gibbons

2021 was a poor year for butterflies in England according to the UKBMS but some threatened species did quite well. Details on the Butterfly Conservation News and Blog page

Big City Butterflies Wildflower Creation in Urban Areas talk by Steve Bolton can now be viewed here

Big City Butterflies Wildflower Meadow Creation - Steve Bolton

Butterfly Hibernation Watch - Small Tortoiseshell numbers crashed in 2021, while Peacocks are doing well. Click here to read an article by Malcolm Hull

The sightings page has been updated for changes on preferred methods of recording butterflies and moths
The YouTube video on finding Brown Hairstreak eggs presented on 1 December can now be viewed - click on the image below

Finding Brown Hairstreak eggs

The Brown Hairstreak egg hunting season is now upon us so please take a look at the updated Brown Hairstreak survey webpage.

Please view the video on road verge management for wildlife produced by Plantlife

Plantlife Road Verge management

Lowest ever number of butterflies recorded in the Big Butterfly Count 2021

Chloe Lisley has set up an Instagram account for our branch. Useful for adding photos so please have a look

See David Howden's video clip of a Brown Hairstreak at Horsenden Hill on 28 August

One of the best ways we can help butterflies is by talking with other people and encouraging their interest. On Friday (6 August) the four transect walkers at Chorleywood Common ran an information stall at a local event on the Common. The stall was well attended and there was much interest shown in how butterfly numbers on the site are improving. And also many people wanting to join in the Big Butterfly Count. Photos: © Philip Gibbs
Stall Chorleywood Common 6 Aug Stalls Chorleywood Common 6 Aug

The Jersey Tiger moth, now spreading across our region is included in the Big Butterfly Count for the first time. Listen to branch chair Malcolm Hull interviewed on BBC Three Counties Radio on the link (interview starts after 3 hours 52 minutes). Click here

A recording of our New Members Day presentations is now available on the Herts & Middx BC YouTube Channel. Watch Liz Goodyear talk about garden butterflies, how to identify them and attract them to your garden. Also Malcolm Hull gives an introduction to butterfly recording. Click here

See Malcolm Hull's video clip of a grounded Purple Emperor in Heartwood Forest on 17 July
Purple Emperor Heartwood Forest video - 17 Jul 21

Bike For Butterflies Challenge. Simon Saville from the Surrey & SW London Branch is setting off on a gruelling 1,200 mile cycle ride from Land's End to John O'Groats on Tuesday 22 June to raise £15,000 for Butterfly Conservation. Donations can be made here
Bike For Butterflies Challenge 2021

For the Big City Butterflies launch on Tuesday 1 June, find more about fun ways to join in. Join Ele Johnstone, our new staff member, and play hide and seek with butterflies in London parks
Big City Butterflies - Apr 21

Our major new project Big City Butterflies, launches on Tuesday 1 June. Watch as Kate Merry provides an insight into how we will be promoting butterflies and moths in inner London here
Big City Butterflies - Apr 21

Exciting news from Gerry Rawcliffe who saw a Long-tailed Blue at Alexandra Palace today (18 May)

Excellent and informative talk by Simon Saville on the Climate change impacts on butterflies and moths can be viewed here
Climate change impacts on UK butterflies and moths

The winter online Zoom YouTube recordings can now be viewed here

Many Painted Ladies have been reported in the south of England including some in our area in the last few days. 12 May

Anna Guerin has set up a blog for butterflies observed in London. Please read here

Nick Murray saw a Duke of Burgundy at Aldbury Nowers on 2 May, a species not reported here since 1998 and nowhere in our area since 2009

Large Tortoiseshell seen in Sawbridgeworth on 1 April

Winners of this year's Photo Competition can be found here
Photo competition 2021 winners

*** - Please read the latest Tick Guidance ***

The Big City Butterflies project has secured funding - please click here

A new report shows that larger moths in Britain have declined by a third in the last 50 years. Please read the statement and the full report from Butterfly Conservation

Please see the presentation by Steve Bolton about the Brilliant Butterflies Project regarding chalk grassland management for butterflies like the Small Blue. Click here

Beat the lockdown blues by helping us find blackthorn whilst on your daily exercise walk - our new branch project. Click here

Please check the Can you help? table for the latest updates, including transects to be walked in 2021
An excellent film of the Brown Hairstreaks in Surrey produced in December 2020 - click on the image below
Brown Hairstreaks in Surrey

Information on the Big City Butterflies project can be found here

A summary of Malcolm Hull's article on hibernating butterflies appears in the Butterfly Magazine

Unless you have already done so, please do not forget to send in your records for the year to Andrew Wood

Please listen to Malcolm Hull's interview with BBC Radio Jersey (30 October) on hibernating butterflies here

IMPORTANT - Please read the latest coronavirus update from Butterfly Conservation here

The results of the Big Butterfly Count 2020 can be found here

See Andrew Wood's latest Question and Answer session at Holland Park here

Read the latest blog from Butterfly Conservation on Malcolm Hull's 'Where have all the Small Tortoiseshells gone'

Listen to Malcolm Hull on Radio Verulam's podcast on the Big Butterfly Count

Attractive 44-page full colour booklet on the butterflies of Heartwood is available for purchase (cash only). Details on the image below. Click to expand


Millhoppers Pasture - the branch's only specialist butterfly reserve - new leaflet published to mark the relaunch of Butterfly Conservations local reserve: open to visitors now all welcome 24/7

David Howdon's virtual events on 27 June have been filmed and can be watched on his Periscope page: Butterfly walk at Horsenden Hill and moths from moth-trap ran nearby the previous night

Many Four-spotted moths reported in Cambridgeshire last week (as of 6 June) so look out for it in grassy places where Field Bindweed is present

Good news for UKBMS recorders - please read the latest from Butterfly Conservation

Some splendid video clips of life-cycles and behaviour of some of our butterflies have been filmed - well worth watching. View the Videos webpage. Enjoy!

Members' Day. To see photos and vote in the photo competition click here and for presentations and members' slides click here.
Photo Competition winners announced - see who won in each category
here. Well done to the winners and thank you to all who took part. Meanwhile you can read our Annual Review and Minutes of last years meeting.

Small Blue project at Greenwood Park - please read latest report (as of April 2020).

Large Tortoiseshell reported in Cambridgeshire on 15 April

Read the latest WCBS newsletter here.

It may now be the transect season and due to the current restrictions why not take part in the Garden Butterfly Survey

2019 UKBMS Results: 2019 was the best year since 1997 for butterflies according to the UKBMS. The results can be found
here. Click here for summary of the changes.

The latest Small Blue report for our branch can be read here

Read Malcolm Hulls's article on hibernating Small Tortoiseshells here

Shedding new light on hibernating tactics. See Malcolm Hull's piece in the Guardian on hibernating Small Tortoiseshells

6 species already reported in the first 10 days of January

Minor design changes on website including 'Home' page, e.g. links to external sites now accessible in horizontal menu bar above
Brimstone flying at Berkhamsted Common on 30 December. Latest ever?

17 December - Butterfly Conservation still receiving reports of Large White caterpillars in gardens from the south coast of England - have you seen any in your garden?

Small White seen in Lewisham on 25 November

Two projects on BC website - Big City Butterflies and Brilliant Butterflies

Latest report from the UKBMS for 2018 - please read here

Small Blue project at Greenwood Park - construction completed - please read progress report (latest update 28 Sep). Have a look at the display boards at the park

Second brood White Admirals seen on 22 Sep in Suffolk. Maybe worth having a look in established sites in the next week or two

Results from the year's Big Butterfly Count. Breakdown count for each county including the top 5 butterflies

Long-tailed Blues seen in southern coastal counties between Cornwall and Suffolk - please read Press Release from Butterfly Conservation. One seen in Wanstead, E London on 16 September

Adonis Blue at Therfield Heath and Queen of Spain Fritillary at Patmore Heath on 20 August - significant finds. The Adonis Blue might be found at other 'Chalkhill Blue' sites in our branch area, for example, Hexton Chalk Pit so worth visiting these if you can. It is probable that an unauthorised release of Adonis Blue took place at Therfield Heath so if anyone knows how they might have got there please give Andrew Wood or Malcolm Hull a call - all calls treated in strict confidence

Painted Lady influx this year. For sightings already reported in 2019 go to the Migrant Watch page on the Butterfly Conservation website

Brown Hairstreak reported from Surrey (12 July?), so we should find it in our area very soon. Start looking on hedgerows with plenty of blackthorn and nearby ash/oak trees, preferably near woodland. Contact Andrew Wood for best sites. For species account click here. Several seen on 28 July at the Stafford Open Space in Hillingdon - see sightings page

Advice on controlling infestation of Box Tree caterpillars, please read UPDATED BC note here

The Living Churchyards project aims to encourage wildlife in their churchyards. For more details please read here. A workshop day on 13 July at Potton where Andrew Wood will be present. Booking is required for this event

Reports of Green Hairstreak and Small Blue on unexpected sites this year so continue looking out for them in grassland areas even where there is no Kidney Vetch (for Small Blue)

Can you help record hibernating Small Tortoiseshells? Read Malcolm's article. There is a link to this article in the current newsletter. If you encounter connection problems let us know

Are there any sites in our branch area you have never been to? Check out the map on the sites page. Many new sites have been added. The map itself can be expanded or loaded under a new tab in your browser

Butterflies bounced back in 2018 according to a study by the UKBMS

Large Tortoiseshell reported in Kent and Lincolnshire in last week of March and one seen in central Essex on 1 April. One seen at Incombe Hole, Ivinghoe Beacon on 23 April. At least 600 in the Netherlands this spring - unprecedented, at least in the last 50 years or so and first proof of reproduction since 1995 - see Chris van Swaay's tweet.

At least 85 people attended the branch AGM and members' meeting on 23 March - photos below © John Murray

AGM & branch meeting 23 Mar 2019 May Webber 23 Mar 2019 Butterfly Brothers 23 Mar 2019 Susannah O'Riordan 23 Mar 2019

Third Camberwell Beauty sighting in north London this year - at Muswell Hill on 24 March

Over the next 12 months Butterfly Conservation are launching a 'Moths Matter' campaign to encourage people to become more interested in moths - see the web page here

The Garden Butterfly Survey 2018 Results summary are out. Click here for details

Which butterfly was top in 2018 according to the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey? Find out more in the latest WCBS newsletter

Brown Hairstreak eggs found further north in Middlesex

Help the new team at Millhoppers - work parties will normally be held every first Sunday of the month - next date 5 January
Holly Blue seen in Islington on 23 December- see Katherine Pogson's tweet

More Brown Hairstreak egg finds in Middlesex - see sightings page

A very successful Brown Hairstreak egg-hunting day on 9 Dec - see sightings page

Brown Hairstreak egg-hunting group Hillingdon 9 Dec 18
© John Dobson

Advice on two moth species: for controlling infestation of Box Tree caterpillars, please read BC note here. Health warnings on toxic Oak Processionary Moth caterpillars - please read.

Initial National Lottery support for London-based project Big City Butterflies. Please read more here including a job vacancy

9 Herdwick sheep now at the Millhoppers Reserve

Big Butterfly Count 2018 results - Small Tortoiseshell crashes - details

Brown Hairstreak reported from the Borough of Hillingdon on 2 September - see sightings page and Andrew Middleton's video clips of the butterfly in the area on 6 September

Which butterfly was the most abundant in our gardens in 2017? Find out from Butterfly Conservation's Garden Butterfly Survey

Generally in the UK, it was the warmest May on record. UK maps for climate change anomalies shown here

Chequered Skippers flying at Rockingham Forest. Also see tweet on Back From the Brink

Can you prepare a square metre in your garden to provide a refuge for our butterflies and other insects? Please read Alan Titchmarch's Press Release

Butterfly Conservation report a below average year for butterflies in 2017. See here for details and summary of results

Read about the 50th anniversary Conservation Day at Millhoppers NR here. For Press Release from Butterfly Conservation click here.

Congratulations to Andrew Steele on his Woodlands Trust Award - Acorn Award
Species 2023
Speckled Wood
Red Admiral
Small Tortoiseshell
Small White
Painted Lady
Holly Blue
Green-veined White
Green Hairstreak
Small Copper
Large White
Grizzled Skipper
Dingy Skipper
Small Heath
Brown Argus
Clouded Yellow
Common Blue
Small Blue
Adonis Blue
Meadow Brown
Large Skipper
Marbled White
Small Skipper
Dark Green Fritillary
White Admiral
Essex Skipper
Purple Hairstreak
White-letter Hairstreak
Silver-washed Fritillary
Purple Emperor
Chalkhill Blue
Brown Hairstreak
Long-tailed Blue

More on sightings page

The Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch has over 1000 members and covers the administrative county of Hertfordshire and the Watsonian Vice-county of Middlesex (VC21).

The London Boroughs included within the Branch area are Barnet, Brent, Camden, City of London, City of Westminster, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Richmond (north of the Thames), Tower Hamlets and the Surrey District Council of Spelthorne.

Download a copy of our 'Welcome to the Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch of Butterfly Conservation' leaflet for more information

For Branch enquiries please email: elizabethgoodyear@talk21.com; for website enquiries please email peter.clarke4@ntlworld.com


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