Saving Scotland’s Butterflies

Common Blue

An innovative project to halt the decline of butterflies in urban areas of central Scotland has been launched in Glasgow.

Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation (BC) is concerned about a severe drop in the number of previously common species, like the Small Copper, Common Blue and Green Hairstreak.

BC’s Urban Butterfly Project will gather records of butterfly species found in towns, cities and residential areas, from places like Culross in Fife, to Fallin in Stirling and Robroyston in Glasgow.

The three-year project was made possible thanks to almost £80,000 of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Green HairstreakScotland BC’s Project Officer, Anthony McCluskey, said: “The Urban Butterfly Project is all about encouraging people across central Scotland to get outdoors and look at the butterflies found in their local parks, gardens, allotments and nature reserves.

“Volunteers will be given training at butterfly ID workshops in May and asked to report back to BC to let us know what they have found throughout the summer.”

The butterfly records will be used to help BC understand more about the state of butterfly populations throughout central Scotland and to target any future conservation work.

Anthony added: “This is more important than ever, as a recent study has found that populations of many once-common species, such as Small Copperthe Small Copper, have crashed in the last decade. The information people will pass back to us will reveal the sites that need BC’s help to attract pollinators. This could mean planting more wildflowers or working with local authorities to change how an area of land is managed.”

BC Scotland is launching the project at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens on Thursday 21 April.

Free workshops for people interested in volunteering will then take place in May across Glasgow, Stirling, Falkirk and Fife.