Cryptic Wood White - James O'Neill

Welcome to the Northern Ireland Branch of Butterfly Conservation, which was first formed in 1988 and currently has more than 300 members.

If you live in the region and are a member of Butterfly Conservation you automatically become a member of the Northern Ireland branch.

Northern Ireland is home to around 1000 species of moth and 25 species of butterfly, with almost half of these being priority species.

One of these, the Cryptic Wood White (thought to be Real's Wood White until recent research proved it to be a new species entirely) is only found in Northern Ireland. Craigavon Lakes Local Nature Reserve in County Armagh is the very best place to visit to see this butterfly on the wing during May and June.

Get involved 

Argent & Sable - Iain H Leach


Volunteers are hugely important to Butterfly Conservation. Getting involved with surveying and monitoring butterfly and moth species in your garden or out in the wider landscape directly helps inform our work and projects.

Large Heath - Tim Melling

Branch events

Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland’s Branch run events throughout the year, mirroring the season that’s in it. From summer field trips, winter talks and lectures to practical conservation, the varied and interesting programme is worth investigating and everyone is welcome.

Wall (male/upperside) - Ryszard Szczygieł

Do it yourself

There is an awful lot that you can do yourself, or with your friends and family for butterflies, moths and the environment. Starting at home, in your community or workplace makes your practice more sustainable in every sense and your projects are more likely to succeed too.

Find out more


  • Street lights affect wildflower pollination

    Street lighting operating all night can alter the natural pollination of a common wildflower, a study involving Butterfly Conservation (BC) has revealed.

  • Environment Bill

    In July 2018 Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the Government would bring forward an Environment Bill. Butterfly Conservation (BC) understand that Defra are working on the draft of the Bill, to cover England and reserved matters in devolved countries, and this will be published before Christmas.

  • The nocturnal pollinators: scientists reveal the secret life of moths

    Scientists have discovered that moths may play a much broader role as plant pollinators than previously suspected.

  • Small Tortoiseshell crashes despite heatwave

    Numbers of one of the UK’s best known garden butterflies have plummeted this summer despite the record-breaking hot weather, results from the Big Butterfly Count have revealed.

Catch up on all our news


  • Northern Ireland Recorders Day 2019 (NIRD)

    Saturday 6th April 2019, 10.00am-4.00pm

    Peatlands Park, Education Centre, 33 Derryhubbert Rd, Dungannon BT71 6NW

    Our annual pre-season get-together will include a breakdown of the data from 2018, (the best year ever on record for butterflies and butterfly recorders in NI), the launch of the new Butterfly Conservation NI Conservation Strategy highlighting out priority butterflies and moths, and a chance to hear from our partners about what’s happening in the world of recording as we head into the new season. 
    As usual craic, light refreshments and good company guaranteed.  Bring your own lunch, no charge, looking forward to seeing you there! 

  • The Montiaghs, Marsh Fritillary and CABB- Cathryn Cochrane, RSPB

    18th April 2019, 7.30pm

    St John’s Scout Hall, behind Newtownbreda Presbyterian Church off the Knockbreda Road in Belfast.

    Cathryn will give an update on how the CABB (Co-operation Across Borders for Biodiversity) project is progressing, focusing in especially on Montiaghs Moss SAC and ASSI near Aghalee. This will include an update on conservation management techniques being reintroduced to the site, what’s planned for the future and how the important species of the site have been doing.  

See all our upcoming events


Volunteer with us

Butterfly Conservation relies on the support of thousands of volunteers, and we are always looking for more help inside the office and out in the field. Whether you want to volunteer at a local branch, get outside and help manage our nature reserves, or help with one of our events, we have something for everyone to get involved in! Your time can make a real difference.

Find out how to get involved.