Garden Tiger - Shane Farrell

Recording and monitoring carried out by volunteers is vital for the conservation of butterflies and moths.

The current advice to stay at home as much as possible in order to limit the spread of coronavirus and local travel restrictions mean that some recording and monitoring activities are limited for now (see Butterfly Conservation guidance below). As government restrictions vary in different UK countries, so the guidance on butterfly and moth recording and monitoring also varies between the nations.

Update coronavirus guidance for butterfly and moth recorders (January 2021)

However, you can still take part in some of our important schemes by recording butterfly or moth sightings at home. Indeed, not only will this continue the flow of data to support conservation, but spending time with nature at home is beneficial for your wellbeing in these unprecedented and challenging times. Here is how you can stay (or get) involved:

Duke of Burgundy (female/upperwing) - Mark Searle

Butterfly recording

Please tell us about the butterflies that you see in your garden or other land at home (e.g. if you live on a farm).

If you prefer the flexibility to record butterflies 'as and when' with no particular commitment, or in different places at home as well as your garden, then use BNM Online or the iRecord Butterflies app.

Sightings of any butterflies you happen to see can be submitted on a computer, using Butterflies for the New Millennium Online, or smartphone using the iRecord Butterflies app. Use whichever suits you best - the records will reach Butterfly Conservation either way.

Submit sightings through BNM Online

Download the iRecord Butterflies smartphone app


Small Tortoiseshell on Dahlia - Steve Maskell

Record butterflies regularly in your garden

If you can record regularly in your garden throughout the year then please take part in the Garden Butterfly Survey. This is only for garden sightings because it aims to monitor how butterflies are faring in the UK’s gardens. Although there are no specific rules about how long to spend watching for butterflies, participants should be committed to recording throughout the year.

Find out more and get involved in the Garden Butterfly Survey


Small Elephant Hawk-moth (underwing) - Bob Eade

Moth recording

Take part in the National Moth Recording Scheme by submitting sightings of day-flying or nocturnal moths at home. Hundreds of moth species occur in gardens so there is a lot to see and garden records contribute greatly to our knowledge of the changing fortunes of the UK’s moths. Even if you don’t have any outdoor space, you can see what moths come to an outdoor light or window.

Take part in the National Moth Recording Scheme

Thank you for helping us to record and conserve butterflies and moths even in these difficult times.