The Prince of Wales has recorded dozens of butterflies while taking part in the world’s largest butterfly survey at his home in Highgrove, Gloucestershire.
The Big Butterfly Count was launched on Friday by Butterfly Conservation President Sir David Attenborough with hopes high that this year’s long hot summer could provide a boost for the UK’s butterflies.
The Prince recorded dozens of Meadow Browns, Large Whites and Green-veined Whites in his Highgrove garden as well as Red Admirals, Speckled Woods and Common Blues.
A Clarence House spokesman said: "The Prince is a passionate wildlife supporter and was keen to take part in the Count which he thinks is an excellent idea. He was in the Highgrove Gardens counting late Monday afternoon and his results are now on the site.”
The UK’s Big Butterfly Count is the world’s largest butterfly survey, which encourages people to spot and record 17 species of common butterflies and two day-flying moths during three weeks of high summer.
Launching the Count last week Sir David Attenborough said: “A few precious moments spent watching a stunning Red Admiral or Peacock butterfly feeding amongst the flowers in my garden never fails to bring me great pleasure.
“Spending time with nature offers us all precious breathing space away from the stresses and strains of modern life, it enables us to experience joy and wonder, to slow down and to appreciate the wildlife that lives side-by-side with us.”
So far this year the UK has experienced the perfect combination of a cold winter and warm, settled late spring and warm, dry summer enabling butterflies to thrive.
Species such as Holly Blue, the common whites, Red Admiral and Common Blue could all be in for a bumper Big Butterfly Count.
Butterfly Conservation Chief Executive Julie Williams said: “I am thrilled that the Prince of Wales has taken 15 minutes out of his busy schedule to take part in this year’s Big Butterfly Count.
“The Duchy Estate do amazing work preserving and enhancing landscapes for threatened butterflies and it is great that the Prince is now contributing to the world’s largest butterfly survey, helping us gather vital data on the status of the UK’s butterflies.”
The Count runs from 20 July to 12 August. Taking part in the Count is easy - find a sunny spot anywhere in the UK and spend 15 minutes counting the butterflies you see and then submit sightings online at www.bigbutterflycount.org or via the free Big Butterfly Count app.