An unusual first photo of a Small Tortoiseshell reading the papers at Oxted Station (6th March)

While this is an uncertain and anxious time for everyone, I want to update you on how the Coronavirus Covid-19 is likely to affect our work and assure you that we are adapting and rising to the challenge of continuing our fight for nature.

At Butterfly Conservation we are taking the health and safety of our staff and volunteers very seriously and, in line with government advice, all our staff and volunteers have been instructed to work from home.

For many people this has not been a difficult thing to do as our email, phone and online communication capabilities allow us to have a more mobile workforce than ever before. For some though this has been challenging, particularly for our scientists and dedicated volunteers whose on the ground conservation and community outreach work is critical to what we do. In line with the eased restrictions in England, we are preparing the risk assessments and guidance to enable some fieldwork in England to resume. The safety of our staff, volunteers and their families however, is our most important and foremost consideration.

Like all charities and organisations around the world, we don’t yet know what the long-term effect will be on our ability to research, educate and fundraise, but we will continue to adapt and innovate as much as we can during this difficult time.

We are also in the opportune position to be able to share with our supporters and the public, a little ray of positivity and hope as Spring continues to bloom in our back gardens and public spaces. We will be encouraging people who may be isolated in their homes or feeling overwhelmed by the news agenda to take some time out in their own gardens if they can. We urge all of our supporters to please follow the guidelines on necessary journeys and outdoor exercise in your government jurisdiction.

There are so many butterflies and moths to spot in our own garden and nearby outdoor spaces and we’re urging people to contribute their valuable garden sightings.  We’ve already received lots of exciting sightings of butterfly and moth species (such as Brimstone, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral as well as the Ruby Tiger moth and Purple Thorn) which are well on the wing and we’re seeing double the amount of visits to our website and messages to us on social media than we would normally expect at this time of year which is really encouraging.

There’s such an important link between mental wellness and being outside in nature. Here’s a few activity ideas if you’re isolated at home:

Take a break in nature and spend some time outdoors butterfly spotting.

  • You can identify the species you spot using our online ID pages.
  • We’d love you to share your sightings on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We will be sharing interesting facts, updates and images under the hashtag #feelbetterwithbutterflies.
  • You can also submit your sightings online via iRecord Butterflies.
Brimstone (mating pair) - Rob Blanken

Speaking of sightings, have you submitted all your butterfly and moth records? Why not get out your old notebooks and check if all those records from previous years are safely lodged with your county recorder? You can submit even your old butterfly records online or using mobile apps.                                                 

Plant some wildflower seeds for our summer pollinators. Seeds are easy to buy online, or perhaps there’s a few left over in your shed from last year.

As a valued supporter, I want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to continue to fight for the conservation of our butterflies and moths. Thank you for your support.

Please look after yourselves and my warmest wishes to all.

Julie Williams
Chief Executive

All Butterfly Conservation events are cancelled until further notice. 

We are doing everything we can to provide support and reassurance to our staff, volunteers and supporters in these uncertain and challenging times. We wish to play our part in keeping people healthy and safe.

Following government guidance, we have decided all of our events involving staff and registered volunteers scheduled must be cancelled. This includes both indoor and outdoor activities.

We will review arrangements for future months in due course in light of any updates to government guidance and share updates on our website and social media channels and by email to those registered with us. 

These are exceptional times and we’ll work to support each other and keep you updated.