Our beautiful butterflies are in crisis: the loss of flower-rich meadows, hedgerows and other habitats are leaving butterflies with fewer places to rest, feed and complete their life cycles. Your garden can be a refuge for butterflies and their caterpillars, providing a haven for them to flourish in otherwise inhospitable urban or agricultural landscapes. In the UK, gardens make up over 400,000 hectares of land. Imagine the habitat we could create by making space for butterflies in our gardens.
All sorts of gardens can provide a safe home for butterflies, if managed sensitively. So as well as private gardens, you can take part in the Garden Butterfly Survey in a shared communal garden, community garden or at allotments. If you want to record butterflies anywhere else, please join one of our other schemes.
The Garden Butterfly Survey is a great way to learn more about the butterflies in your garden and to help with their conservation. By counting and identifying the butterflies that visit throughout the year, you are sharing essential data that help us understand how they are faring in gardens across the UK. Importantly, your Garden Butterfly Survey sightings and information about the site you are surveying will enable us to provide evidence-based advice on how to manage gardens to benefit butterflies throughout their life cycle from egg to adult.
Joining the survey
To join in simply create a free account, tell us a bit about your garden, note down the butterflies that you see there and submit your sightings. You can keep track of your garden butterfly sightings within your online account and compare your results to national numbers.
As well as contributing to the Garden Butterfly Survey, every sighting you make will also be publicly available on iRecord and provided to Butterfly Conservation’s overall UK recording scheme ‘Butterflies for the New Millennium’ so your records can be used to inform conservation and research. By taking part in the Garden Butterfly Survey you will be doing your bit to help the biodiversity crisis.
Butterfly Conservation is the UK charity dedicated to saving butterflies and moths. We maintain and enhance landscapes for butterflies and moths. We provide advice to landowners and managers on how to conserve and restore habitats. We gather extensive butterfly and moth data and conduct research to provide the scientific evidence that underpins our work. We have an established record of reversing declines. We run programmes for more than 100 threatened species and are involved in conserving hundreds of sites and reserves. We rely on donations, memberships and grants to fund our work. Data from our two national recording schemes support our research and action. With your support we can help butterflies and moths thrive. You can read more about our work here.
Supporting Science Project
Since 2016, recorders have shared garden butterfly sightings by taking part in the Garden Butterfly Survey. In 2022, we have renewed the survey website and updated the system as part of the Supporting Science Project.
This Butterfly Conservation project has been created to improve data flow and help us digitally support our recorders and volunteers. We will improve access to natural heritage and grow digital skills by developing tools and collaboration. The project has been made possible thanks to DCMS and National Lottery funding, distributed by The Heritage Fund as part of their Digital Skills for Heritage initiative. We are also grateful to The Henry C. Hoare Charitable Trust, Sophia Webster Ltd. and The Lochlands Trust for their generous support.