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)

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


  • Agriculture Bill: A Big Day for Farming and Wildlife

    The long-awaited publication of a landmark Agriculture Bill in parliament is a crucial piece of legislation which will have profound implications for the butterflies, moths, wildlife and wider environment of England.

  • Managing land for butterflies and moths

    Our work seeks to help the development of new land management support schemes by combining the latest scientific evidence and Butterfly Conservation’s practical experience of working with farmers and land owners on the ground.

  • Make your vote count!

    The campaign for the Westminster General Election is now well and truly in full swing! This time it feels different, and not just because of the intense debates around Brexit. After years of trying to secure political attention, the environment has finally burst through onto the political stage.

  • British and Irish moths are on the move

    Scientists from Britain and Ireland who have been involved in compiling the newly published Atlas of Britain and Ireland’s Larger Moths have revealed that our moths are on the move.

Catch up on all our news


  • Winter Work Party: Quoile Pondage, Scrub Control for Cryptic Wood White

    Saturday 25th January 2020, 10:00am-3:30pm

    Meet at the Quoile Countryside Centre

    Scrub Control for Cryptic Wood White - Quoile Pondage, Co. Down

    Saturday 25th January 2020, 10:00 
    Meet at the Quoile Countryside Centre 

    We’ll be holding back the flood of brambles at the beautiful Quoile River to preserve habitat for the Cryptic Wood White at one of our few single-species transects. Please contact David Nixon for more information at @email 


    For all work parties please wear sturdy footwear and dress appropriately for the weather. Tools will be provided as well as tea/coffee/biscuits but pack a lunch!  

  • Invertebrates of the Burren – Adam Mantell

    Tuesday 4th February 2020, 7:30pm

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

    Invertebrates of the Burren

    Adam Mantell

    Tuesday 4th February 2020 

    The Burren in County Clare is famous for its plants and the sweeping vistas of limestone and lakes.  The invertebrate communities are perhaps less celebrated but are just as important.  Adam will talk about surveying of two sites owned by NPWS in 2018, explaining how he went about it, why the Burren supports so many species not found elsewhere and finally will discuss the management challenges presented by this landscape now and into the future. 

  • Winter Work Party: Bowara, Scrub Control for Dingy Skipper

    Saturday 8th February 2020, 10:00am-3:30pm

    Meet at Round ‘O’ Quay Car Park, Enniskillen BT74 7BF

    Scrub Control for Dingy Skipper - Bowara, Co. Fermanagh

    Saturday 8th February 2020, 10:00-15:30 
    Meet at Round ‘O’ Quay Car Park, Enniskillen BT74 7BF 

    A key site for this threatened species, this steep-sloped pocket of grassland has also recorded Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoth and Cryptic Wood White. Managing scrub is an annual, essential task to keep the habitat from scrubbing up. Please contact Rose Cremin for more information. @email 


    For all work parties please wear sturdy footwear and dress appropriately for the weather. Tools will be provided as well as tea/coffee/biscuits but pack a lunch!


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.