READERS across Denbighshire and Conwy are being encouraged to take part in this year's Big Butterfly Count.

Chris Packham and wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation launched the count on Friday, July 17.

The fine weather of spring 2020 has seen the earliest average emergences of butterflies for the last 20 years and Butterfly Conservation has received thousands of extra enquiries about butterfly and moth sightings.

Chris said: “While so many of us have had a bit more time to appreciate the nature on our doorsteps during the lockdown period, and learning about the natural world has been a mindful distraction from uncertainty, this is a real chance to do something positive and contribute to conserving nature. Butterflies and moths are key indicators of the health of our environment and anyone can help contribute to our understanding of these incredible creatures by taking part in in the Big Butterfly Count.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Painted Lady. Picture: Andrew Cooper, Butterfly Conservation

“The sightings you submit will be used to map and measure populations and the geographic spread of species across the UK.

"We’re asking everyone who have been given a helping hand from nature this year to return the favour.”

Residents taking part will asked to fill in a survey; nature lovers will spent 15 minutes in an outdoor space counting the amount and type of butterflies, and some day-flying moths.

There were 5,870 counts submitted in Wales for the Big Butterfly Count last year with overwhelmingly abundant numbers of Painted Lady butterflies spotted, up 2,126 (38,902 spotted) from the previous year, while Small White and Common Blue butterflies saw declines of 55 per cent and 61 per cent respectively.

Dr Zoë Randle, senior surveys officer at Butterfly Conservation said: “We’re excited to find out the results from the Big Butterfly Count this year. The very sunny spring weather meant that almost all butterfly species have emerged early this summer, so we’re hoping for some interesting data. As our weather patterns change it’s more important than ever for us to be able capture this information.

"We’ve seen an incredible amount of interest from people who have been out and about in their gardens and local areas spotting butterflies for the first time. From children learning about the lifecycle of a butterfly from a caterpillar found in their own back gardens to adults who have spotted a fluttering Red Admiral while exercising outside instead of at the gym.

"Nature has really shown its true value to us this year, but it is still under threat. Now, more than ever, we must all do our little bit to protect it.”

The Big Butterfly Count is open to all ages and runs until Sunday, August 9.

Visit to find out more or download the free Big Butterfly Count app to enter your findings.