The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey is a national scheme which has been running since 2009, aimed at monitoring the populations of UK butterfly species across the country as a whole. It is run by Butterfly Conservation in partnership with the British Trust for Ornithology and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. The survey takes the form of hundreds of 1km x 1km grid squares, randomly located across the UK and allocated to volunteer recorders, who walk transects across their square(s) each year, recording every butterfly they see according to a set method. This count data builds into a national picture of butterfly population trends, which over time is able to provide a clear picture of how changes in our landscapes are affecting butterfly numbers. This is vital in highlighting declines and targeting conservation work, and also to showing how our butterfly species are responding to a changing climate.
The scheme is run by Zoe Randle at BC's headquarters in Dorset, assisted by a volunteer co-ordinator in each region. In Lancashire, the co-ordinator is Steve Ryder (email: @email).
There are a good number of grid squares assigned by Butterfly Conservation to our region that currently need a surveyor, so if anyone is interested in volunteering please email Steve who will provide more details. Transects typically take about an hour to walk, and a minimum of only 2 per year are needed, so getting involved need not take up a huge amount of time.
All other info and resources for the scheme can be found and downloaded from http://www.ukbms.org/wcbs.aspx