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


  • Branch Newsletter Autumn 2019

    Welcome to the Butterfly Conservation NI Autumn newsletter and our busy winter programme. 

  • No let-up in net loss of UK’s nature

    The UK’s wildlife continues to decline according to the State of Nature 2019 report. The latest findings show that since rigorous scientific monitoring began in the 1970s there has been a 13% decline in average abundance across wildlife studied and that the declines continue unabated.

  • Holy Grail of moth recording reappears in Britain

    Numerous recent sightings of a moth that became extinct in the UK in the 1960s, suggest that it has recolonised and is now breeding across southern Britain.

  • The Year of the Painted Lady

    In just three weeks this summer, nearly half a million Painted Lady butterflies were counted as part of the 10th UK-wide Big Butterfly Count, run by Butterfly Conservation and sponsored by B&Q.

Catch up on all our news


  • European Butterfly Reports

    Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 7:30pm-9:30pm

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

    European Butterfly Reports Tuesday 22nd October (Postponed from 8th October)

    Katy Bell, Simon Gray, and Sam Millar will open our winter talks programme with presentations on Croatian and Swiss butterflies.  Come along to be reminded of the colour and beauty of summer as the autumn nights start to draw in. 

  • BCNI AGM - Thursday 14th November

    Thursday 14th November 2019, 7:30pm-9:30pm

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

    FORMAL NOTICE: BCNI AGM Thursday 14th November, 19:30

    Our Annual General Meeting is an opportunity to review the year gone by and look forward to the next one.  And if you want to join committee, there isn’t a better time!  

  • Winter Work Party: Craigavon Lakes, Scrub Control for Cryptic Wood White

    Thursday 21st November 2019, 10:30am-3:30pm

    Meet at Eastway, Craigavon BT66 6SA (parking on hard-shoulder)

    Scrub Control for Cryptic Wood White 
    Craigavon Lakes, Co. Armagh Thursday 21st November, 10:30–15:30 

    Meet at Eastway, Craigavon BT66 6SA (parking on hard-shoulder) 

    An important Cryptic Wood White population, a grassland species, is under threat as the habitat it needs is being encroached by scrub. We’re going to target some key areas using hand tools. We hope to get better weather than our Day of Action last year! Please contact Rose Cremin 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!  

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.