big butterfly count

Top 5 Spaces to Spot Butterflies


When the weather is warm, the sun is shining and the wind is calm, you might just spot a butterfly fluttering over the flowerbeds. Butterflies tend to emerge and spread their wings when the temperature is around 20 degrees and over, it must be a warm day for them to venture out or they will not be able to fly if their wings get cold.


Read on to find the best spots to do your Big Butterfly Count this summer…

Butterflies in your garden

Check out your garden!

Some of us are lucky enough to have beautiful gardens which are filled with bright and scented blooms. This is a haven for our butterflies, especially if you have nectar rich perennials, fruit plants and shrubs. Sit calmly, wait, and watch as their beautiful wings dance over the flowerbeds in search of delicious nectar. If you see a butterfly resting, they are likely waiting for the sun to warm their wings – they can’t fly when they’re cold!


Get your garden blooming beautiful with our butterfly friendly selection here.


butterflies in the park

Kick back and relax at your local park

If you don’t have a garden or fancy a stroll in the great outdoors, why not take a look in your local park. Many towns now host a green space or park which is prepped and primed with summer blooms, a pollinator paradise! Sit back and ensure your shadow does not cast over butterflies, as it might spook them and they’ll fly away. Make sure you write down all the species you see! Unsure of what species you’re looking at? Snap a photo of it on your phone and use the Butterfly Conservation’s Butterfly ID tool on their app to know more.


butterflies and the beach

Sand, sea and butterflies!

The British Isles offers miles of gorgeous coastline, each step offering diverse habitats for our butterflies and moths. Coastal cliffs and dunes offer the chance to spot species like the stunning Small Blue butterfly, the Common Blue, Grayling, Dark Green Fritillary, and the Glanville Fritillary, as well as some beautiful moths! The beach is the perfect butterfly spotting space. Ice cream is optional, but also strongly encouraged…


butterflies and moutains

Way up high, in the sky

Mountains and large hills may seem an odd place to spot butterflies, but some species have adapted to enjoy living in these conditions. Mountains offer a selection of nectar rich plants and butterfly friendly shelters for our fluttering friends, away from the hustle and bustle of human-living. If you’re brave enough to endure the climb, mountains are a scenic way to spot butterflies. Expect to see the Green Veined White, Mountain Ringlet and Small Heath butterfly - be astounded by the gorgeous scenery which surrounds you too!


butterflies in urban areas

Urban Explorers

If you do not fancy venturing too far, and your local green space is a bit too busy for you, then you can look for butterflies around your neighbourhood too. Churchyards, embankments, and road verges are just as rich in wildlife as gardens and coastlines. Churchyards offer a variation of nectar rich plants and are often perfect for wildlife due to their longer grass and unkept greenery – the perfect shelter! Many Councils are now leaving road verges ‘wild’ and sowing wildflower seeds to encourage biodiversity within their towns – creating the perfect pollinator paradise.


Ensure you’re keeping safe and don’t trespass on private land.


butterfly count 2022

How to take part in the Big Butterfly Count

Now you know where to spot them, you’re probably wondering how you can take part! Simply count butterflies for 15 minutes during bright (preferably sunny) weather during the 15th July – 7th August 2022. This time of year was chosen because it’s when most butterflies are at the adult stage of their lifecycle, so more likely to be seen. Records are welcome from anywhere: including parks, school grounds, gardens to fields and forests. If you are counting from a fixed position, count the maximum number of each species that you can see at a single time. For example, if you see three Red Admirals together on a buddleja bush then record it as 3, but if you only see one at a time then record it as 1 (even if you saw one on several occasions) - this is so that you don't count the same butterfly more than once. If you are doing your count on a walk, then simply total up the number of each butterfly species that you see during the 15 minutes.