7th March 1968.

Today the British Butterfly Conservation Society was registered as a charity. One of its founders was Peter Scott.


Endangered clockwise: Large Skipper, Ringlet, Large White, Speckled Wood, Great Veined White, Small White.

Butterflies said to have benefited from conservation are the Chalkhill Blue, one of the largest in Britain, the Silver-Spotted Skipper and Dark Green Fritillary.

However a survey since 1995 noted that the formerly widespread, High Brown Fritillary, one of the native species to found in Britain, are now rarities, but common varieties such as the Speckled Wood have benefited from recent warm years and spreading northwards.

Back from the brink

Back from the brink: High Brown Fritillary which feeds on wild violets.

Back from Brink

Back from Brink: Duke of Burgundy






In 2002 after a three-year study by the butterfly conservation ten of the thirteen species dependent on specific habitats had done better under the grants offered by Countryside Stewardship schemes by leaving field-edges and changing summer grazing patterns. But the final arbiter will be economics and the need to feed a growing  population.

Success story: Large Blue

Success story: Large Blue

The Large Blue, discovered in Britain 1795 is a success story as it was extinct before being reintroduced and shows the complicated symbiosis of some species as it feeds on thyme and marjoram.

This butterfly also has a unique parasitic relationship with the Myrmica Ant which is tricked into taking the larvae into its nest which then feed on the eggs and larvae.

Butterflies might have been thicker on the ground in the 19thc when Tess Durberville had to be carried over a flood, ‘catching butterflies in her billowing skirts’…(1)

(1) Tess of D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy P126.

Ref: theguardian.com/butterflies_at_risk/Pic of six butterflies.

Ref: theguardian.com/Adam Vaughan. UK Butterflies at Risk.10.8.2015/Pics of Fritillary and Duke of Burgundy.

Ref: Butterfly Conservation PA/Pic of Large Blue.


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About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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