2019: A Good Year for British Butterflies

According to the results of the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme’s annual butterfly count, 2019 was the best year since 1997 for British butterflies. 

In 2019 Butterfly numbers increased compared to 2018 with many species making dramatic improvements. In particular, the Marbled White showed more than a 60% increase, while the Dark Green Fritillary was up more than 50%. What is more, the Lulworth Skipper (picture above), which was thought to be on the brink of extinction, showed an increase in numbers of over 130%. Good news indeed. 

However, not all butterflies species were so successful in 2019. The Common Blue saw a 50% decrease and numbers of Large White butterflies dropped by 40%. Yet despite these drops the overall picture is positive. 

Professor Tom Brereton of Butterfly Conservation explained the results as follows: 

“The results from the 2019 season are really encouraging and provide evidence that the overall rate of decline of butterflies is slowing and for some species being reversed. Reasons for this include positive conservation through agri-environment schemes, increased woodland cover, climate warming, increases in grazing levels by wild animals and a slowing in the rate of agricultural intensification.”

Learn more about protecting butterflies and how you can help with our helpful introduction to butterfly conservation