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Small Blue (Cupido minimus)

Small Blue Week: 27th May – 3rd June 2023

Come and join us to learn all about the UK's smallest butterfly and how you can help. Details of events below!

Small Blue (upperwing) - Iain Leach
Small Blue - Iain Leach

The Small Blue is the UK's smallest butterfly and despite the name it is not blue but rather a dark dusky colour with the male having a smattering of silvery blue scales. It is however very small, as little as 16mm, leading to it often being overlooked. Small Blue is found in small patches where the caterpillars sole foodplant Kidney Vetch grows, the colonies are small and often fragmented.

It has undergone a worrying and rapid decline in Scotland over the last twenty years and we are not quite sure why. That’s why this year with the help of Species on the Edge we are relaunching Small Blue Week to raise awareness of the plight of this diminutive and charismatic butterfly.


Sat 27th May: Wildlife Walk at Ardersier Common

Joint High Life Highland Ranger and Butterfly Conservation Scotland Species on the Edge Event            Time:  2 – 3:30pm.                 

Meeting place:  Ardersier Common picnic site, 300m after Ardersier Village on the B9006 road to Fort George Grid Ref: NH77935577  (What3words: chain.comply.matrons).

Description: Join us for a unique Wildlife Walk in this unusual coastal sight where we hope to see the elusive Small Blue and Dingy Skipper butterflies. Learn about the local flora and fauna with local tales from Ranger John Orr. Take part in our mini kids’ wildlife activities.

Approx duration: 1-2hrs

What’s needed:  Family friendly but children must be with an adult. Suitable outdoor clothing and footwear is recommended, including warm layers and waterproofs. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided.

Booking Essential at  Booking reference: ACT000930

For more information contact:

John Orr (Ranger)                                           Tracy Munro (BCS)                                                  07771 370959                                                 07485 372232

@email                        @email

Highland Highlife logo
Highland Highlife Rangers Logo






Sun 28th May: Wildlife Wander at Dunnet Dunes

Join our Plantlife Partners on the north coast where they will lead a Wildlife Wander.

Time: Meet 2pm

Meeting place:  at the Dunnet Dunes car park off the A836. Grid Ref: ND216688

Description: Guided walk through the stunning Coronation Meadow and sand dunes, searching for rare butterflies, including Small Blue and other wildlife.

What’s needed: Suitable footwear and waterproofs advisable. Children must be accompanied by an adult. No dogs.


Tues 30th May: Butterfly Walk at Loch Fleet

Join local butterfly volunteers for a lead walk through the Loch Fleet Nature Reserve.

Time: Meet 10am this walk is weather dependant.

Meeting place: Loch Fleet official carpark Grid Ref: NH806957, (What3words: pioneered.zoned.snappy)

Description: Guided walk-through the dunes and meadows of the nature reserve where the Small Blue is regularly found.

What’s needed: Suitable footwear and waterproofs advisable. Children must be accompanied by an adult. No dogs.


Thursday 1st June: Butterfly Bike Ride at Culloden Woods

Join East Coast project Officer Tracy for something a little different as we ride our bikes through Culloden woods.

Time: Meet 5:30pm

Meeting place: Culloden woods carpark (above Harry Gows) Tower Road Grid Ref: NH1774845635 (What3words: fonts.umbrella.recitals)

Description: Steady paced ride through Culloden woods and up onto the battlefield where we will take our time, listen to the evening birdsong and enjoy some conversations about conservation.

What’s needed: Suitable helmet, mountain bike in good working order, no under 18s.  Dress in something blue if you feel like it!

Please Tracy know in advance if you plan to attend:

Tracy Munro 07485 372232 @email


Grand Finale Saturday 3rd June: Free family funday at Logie Quarry by Tain

Join us for a celebration of 30 years of Butterfly Conservations Highland and Islands Branch and the national launch of Species on the Edge!!

Time: 10am – 3pm

Meeting place: The old entrance to the disused Logie Quarry Grid Ref:NH 7739 7613. (What3words: drives.issued.parkland.)

If travelling north up the A9 from Alness/Invergordon, turn left off the A9 about one mile north of Kildary. The quarry entrance is about one-third of a mile along the minor road.

If travelling south from Tain, turn right off the A9 one and a quarter miles after the turn-off to Arabella and Nigg

Description: Members of Highland Branch will be on hand to lead butterfly walks looking for Small Blue and Dingy Skipper throughout the day. The Species on the Edge team will be offering the following activities:

  • Moth trapping
  • Butterfly Hunt
  • Kids Activities
  • Stone painting
  • Learn about survey techniques.
  • See the food plant of the caterpillars
  • Explore this unique sand and gravel quarry
  • Meet the Species on the Edge Team
  • Find out how you can help Small Blue!

Approx duration: To lunchtime, and beyond if the weather is good.

What’s needed: Packed lunch if you intend to stay all day. Tea, coffee, juice, and a selection of home baking will be available.

NLHF gaelic logo
Species on the Edge logo