Shae helping children to plan and water

Big City Butterflies is an exciting new project which will inspire Londoners to discover butterflies and moths, and connect them with nature and their local green spaces.


The people we reach will have opportunities to learn about butterflies and moths, how to seek them out and to help them thrive in their neighbourhoods. Thanks to National Lottery players, this four year project starting in May 2021. Now in it's third year we are busy delivering community events, school workshops, site advice, habitat improvements and training in identification and recording across London's inner Boroughs, the project presents a huge opportunity to test new approaches to butterfly and moth conservation in a major urban landscape. People - their needs, interests and behaviours are as important to the project as the 'traditional' conservation practices of habitat management, surveying and monitoring.  

London is home to a surprising diversity of butterflies and moths. Twenty-five of the UK's 59 butterfly species can be spotted in the capital. Enjoy our free family guide to the city's butterflies and moths and enjoy seeing what you can spot in your local park.


The lottery of the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Big City Butterflies Family Guide


How will the project work?

Through the development work for the project carried out in 2019, sites (parks, commons, heaths, community green spaces) across London's inner boroughs have been selected to form a focus for project activities. We'll be working together with the owners and managers and associated volunteer groups to see how best the project can support them. We are busy making contacts with groups within the surrounding communities including schools, 'friends' groups and other groups of volunteers.

The project will draw on the local knowledge and expertise of four Butterfly Conservation Branches, Surrey and SW London, Kent and SE London, Herts and Middlesex, Cambridge and Essex.

The three strands of our project are described below. You can contact our Project Officers below and follow them on Twitter @BigCButterflies and Instagram @bigcitybutterflies.

Eleanor Johnstone (Engagement Officer) [email protected]

Steve Bolton (Conservation Officer) [email protected]

For the latest updates please sign up to our e-newsletter here.

Orange Tip Butterfly

Improving Habitats

We will strive to improve habitats to enhance and connect London's green spaces to better support butterflies and moths. Our Conservation Officer will offer site visits, tailored advice and training. 

iRecord - People

Recording Species

We need to know more about how butterflies and moths are faring in the Capital. We'll be encouraging and enabling people to contribute to our knowledge of butterflies and moths by taking part in one of our varied schemes for identifying and recording the species they see in their local green spaces. 

Children holding moths

Inspiring People

We'll be sharing our knowledge and passion for these beautiful insects with a wide audience by creating varied opportunities for local communities to connect with our project.