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


  • Dig It – Gardening tips for November

    As gardeners, we always tend to have one eye on the present, while looking forward to the future. It rarely stops, except in the depths of winter when everything that can be done, is done.

  • Scientists identify British butterflies most threatened by climate change

    Scientists have discovered why climate change may be contributing to the decline of some British butterflies and moths, such as Silver-studded Blue and High Brown Fritillary butterflies.

  • No place like home

    No place like home: species are on the move, but many have nowhere to go

  • The Butterfly Effect

    The Butterfly Effect. In Gloucestershire, we've borrowed a term associated with Chaos Theory, a curious idea that postulates that a butterfly flapping its wings in one place could cause a massive storm elsewhere.

Catch up on all our news


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

    Friday 22nd to Saturday 23rd 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 Saturday 23rd 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!  

  • Northern Ireland: Butterfly Walkers Workshop - Oxford Island

    Saturday 23rd November 2019, 10:00am-1:00pm

    Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island National Nature Reserve, Craigavon, Co. Armagh, BT66 6NJ

    Please join us at this event, which is for anyone interested in getting involved in butterfly monitoring. 

    There will also be an optional work party taking place in the afternoon for the Cryptic Wood White butterfly at Craigavon Lakes...

  • Branch Christmas Dinner 2019

    Thursday 5th December 2019, 7:00pm-10:30pm

    Malone Golf Club

    BCNI Christmas Dinner Thursday 5th December, 19:00 for 19:30 Malone Golf Club 

    Expect warmth, laughter, maybe a quiz, maybe a sing-along – who knows? – and of course mince pies!  

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.