Julie Williams, CEO

We are finally reaching the end of what has been a very challenging and unprecedented year. When we welcomed in 2020 back in January no one could have foreseen the events and turbulent times we were to face.  Thank goodness there is now hope for the future with vaccinations due to begin imminently.

Covid-19 will leave a lot of devastation in its wake, many have suffered losses to family and friends, the human cost across the world is so distressing and our thoughts go out to everyone who has been personally affected.  Our economy has suffered too with most organisations struggling to make ends meet.  Sadly, Butterfly Conservation did not escape and with lower income levels predicted we took the decision to undertake a review to reduce expenditure - sadly this resulted in the loss of 11 valued members of staff across our teams.  Despite this, I am proud that we managed to weather the challenge of lockdowns and social distancing to maintain our vital work to protect butterflies, moths and our environment. I am so grateful to all our wonderful members, supporters and volunteers who have helped us keep the show on the road – thank you so much for your support!

Whilst reflecting on the last year I realised that I have now had the pleasure of working at Butterfly Conservation for 20 years – it’s true time really does fly when you’re having fun!  I am so proud of the many successes we have achieved together over the years.  Some of my personal favourites include: 

  • The purchase of the amazing Prees Heath Nature Reserve in Shropshire, which was funded by the largest Landfill funding we have ever received; 
  • The creation of the National Moth Recording scheme which massively helped increase the profile of moths, the resulting data collected over many years led to the publication of our fabulous Atlas of Britain and Ireland’s Larger moths; 
  • The Big Butterfly Count which has grown over the last 10 years to become the largest survey of its kind, engaging hundreds of thousands of people and encouraging them to connect with nature.  

There are many more successes which are far too numerous to list here, but all of them have only been possible with the fantastic work of our volunteers, Branches, members, supporters, staff and Trustees - collectively you are what makes Butterfly Conservation the great organisation it is.  I am extremely privileged to work alongside such dedicated, passionate and committed individuals.

So as we look forward to the end of this tumultuous year, I would like to finish by wishing you a very happy, healthy and safe Christmas.  Let us hope that 2021 will bring relief, joy and lots more triumphs in our plight to ensure the long-term future of our precious butterflies and moths. I look forward to achieving great things with you next year
 

With warmest wishes,

Julie Williams