Recording and monitoring

Monitoring butterflies

Butterflies are extremely valuable indicators of the state of the environment. Butterfly Conservation runs schemes to record and monitor them which involve over 15,000 volunteer recorders.

The data gathered in our world-renowned schemes is used by the Government to indicate the health of the environment at national, UK and European levels.

Contact our County Recorders

These skilled and dedicated volunteers act as the central point for butterfly and moth recording in the county or counties that they cover. You can contact County Butterfly Recorders here, and County Moth Recorders here

The ongoing recording and monitoring programmes help us direct our conservation effort where it is needed. It also helps us asses how effective current conservation work is.

Anyone can take part, from butterfly beginners to experienced recorders.


  • Butterflies for the New Millennium

    chalkhill blueThis survey assesses the distribution of each butterfly species across the British Isles. Anyone can submit sightings.

  • UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme

    Brimstone SmallWe survey butterfly abundance across a network of over 750 sites by a combination of weekly and single transects.

  • Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey

    small marbledA new method involving a few visits to randomly selected 1-km squares. This survey assesses the status of butterflies.

  • First Sightings

    Swallowtail SmallFirst sightings are gathered as the butterfly season progresses, providing information about species emergence.

  • Big BUtterfly Count

    Red Admiral SmallOur annual nationwide survey to help assess the health of our environment by using butterflies as indicators. Anyone can join in.

  • National moth recording scheme

    Cream Spot TigerThis survey covers all of the larger (macro-) moth species in the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. Open to everyone.

  • Garden Butterfly survey

    Small Tortoiseshell on SedumIf you can regularly record the butterflies in your garden, you can help save our butterflies. 

  • Moth Night

    Scarlet TigerOur Annual celebration of moth recording run by Atropos, in association with the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

  • Migrant Watch

    Painted LadyHelp us monitor the Painted Lady butterflies & Humming-bird Hawk-moths arriving from Africa with your sightings.

  • irecord butterflies app

    irecordDownload this free app to identify the butterflies you see and then let us know where and when they were out.