Nature is in crisis. Play your part to protect our planet.

The importance of having nature in our lives has never been clearer, but the crisis facing nature is huge - extinctions are happening at unprecedented rates as a result of humanity's abuse of the planet.

However, it’s not too late to undo this damage. In fact, we at Butterfly Conservation know that lots of small, concerted actions can make a massive difference. 

This is why we are calling on you to BE your own Butterfly Effect and make changes in your life, from how you eat, shop, garden and even enjoy nature itself. 

Surrey Adonis Blue Martin Hutchinson's Bank

One million species of animals and plants are threatened with extinction, but it's not too late to turn things around.

 

We have shown - that with your help - we can make a difference. Our teams of dedicated scientists and volunteers have prevented UK extinction for highly threatened species including:

Heath Fritillary - Iain H Leach

Heath Fritillary

Without our work - and the help of our volunteers, members and supporters - this highly threatened specie would now be extinct in the UK. Find out more about our work on the Heath Fritillary here.

New Forest Burnet - Keith Tailby

New Forest Burnet

This specie, which only occurs on one UK site, has been saved from extinction thanks to our efforts, and backed by volunteers, members and supporters. Discover more about our work on the New Forest Burnet here.

Successes like this bring hope, but we must do more if we are to pass on a secure and wildlife-rich planet to future generations, and we need you to play your part.

 

Discover how you can BE your own Butterfly Effect with Butterfly Conservation's top 10 tips to help save the planet, plus download a FREE gardening for butterflies guide:

Girl watering plants/Gardening - Pexels

1. Disconnect and make room for the beauty of nature in your life

Butterflies and moths are beautiful and unique indicators of the health of our ecosystem and they are in decline – so you could plant butterfly and moth foodplants in your windowsill pots or gardens to help. If you are a farmer or landowner then you could also develop habitat suitable for butterflies and moths by building up soil into the ridges known as butterfly banks in your fields which will encourage them. Find out how you can add beauty to your greenspace for butterflies and moths to enjoy. 


Next time you are outside, why not try leaving your technology behind and really enjoy the moment?

May all your weeds be wildflowers / Gardening - Sandy Millar/Pexels

2. Go wild and keep your garden or greenspace chemical free

Cut down on your use of herbicides and pesticides. These chemicals kill butterflies, moths and other pollinating insects, such as ladybirds, beetles and spiders – the natural enemies of your garden pests.

Find out more about the link between Neonicotinoids and butterfly declines here.

Also try to go a little wild in your garden to support nature. If you have a lawn, then reduce mowing to just once a year in September on a strip of grass at least 6 ft long, to allow common wildflowers and grasses to thrive as nectar sources and larval foodplants for our more widespread butterflies and moths, and for other pollinating insects.

Dersingham Bog by Ian Ward

3. Be more 'Bog Squad' and garden peat-free

A healthy peatland bog can store huge amounts of rainwater which can reduce flooding risk. Bogs are also very valuable in the fight against climate change as they lock up vast amounts of carbon. In fact, they can store far more carbon than trees.

Butterfly Conservation’s ‘Bog Squad’ volunteers work tirelessly to restore this invaluable habitat, but by avoiding peat-based compost you too can make a difference. Discover how here.

Dr Amir Khan

4. Plant pollinator-friendly plants

Help butterflies, moths and other pollinators without breaking the bank, by adding a container of nectar plants to your doorstep, balcony or back garden each spring.

You can also help our butterflies, moths and bumblebees by building an Insect A&E.

Plastic Straw

5. Don't buy single-use plastics

Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and most food packaging. 

Next time you go out and about, pop a flask or reusable bottle in your bag. Make this a habit and cut your weekly bottle buying altogether. More than 2,600 plastic bottles a year would be stopped from entering our environment altogether if just 50 people packed a flask instead of buying a bottle. 

Organic Food

6. Shop locally and try to cut down on meat

If you have the chance, buying local, fresh organic food is a great way to support local farmers, reduce your carbon footprint and support nature with your food choices. Buying food that is grown near you will have less of an impact on our environment. Find an organic farm shop near you. 

Lessening the amount of meat on your plate can have multiple benefits for the environment and for you. If you aim to eat less meat, do try to get the meat you will eat from happy, healthy, grass-fed animals and try to find a local supplier who you can support.

iRecord - People

7. Record the wildlife near you

Recording the wildlife where you live provides vital information which helps conservationists protect the environment. Recording and monitoring programmes help Butterfly Conservation direct our conservation effort where it is needed most.

Take part in our world-renowned recording schemes.

Plastic Recycle Bin

8. Re-use and Recycle 

Reducing the amount you consume has the greatest benefits for the planet. It’s best to avoid waste in the first place, so think more carefully about your purchases. Re-using items saves the natural resources and energy needed to manufacture new ones - as well as saving money.

Find out about recycling programs near you.
 

Citizen Science/Walking/People

9. Reduce your carbon footprint 

Even the smallest effort to reduce your carbon footprint can make a difference. On short journeys why not ditch the car in favour of walking or cycling?

Go Green in your home - remember to turn off electronic appliances when not in use, especially personal computers and games consoles, which use a lot of energy.

How big is your footprint? WWF will find out for you.

Volunteer Harry with Ian Middlebrook on Stoborough Heath - Peter Moore

10. Volunteer for a wildlife or environmental organisation 

Butterfly Conservation relies on the support of thousands of volunteers around the UK. Without them, we could not do our work.

Whether it be getting hands-on with conservation work or recording the butterflies and moths that you see, there is a wide range of opportunities for people who would like to get involved, whatever your age or experience.

Find out how you can volunteer with Butterfly Conservation

 

BE the Butterfly Effect