Help save the counties butterflies

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Sir David Attenborough urges people of Surrey to get butterfly counting!

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6:01am 17th July 2015

There is a special message today, for the people of Surrey, from national treasure Sir David Attenborough.

He is asking you to help save the counties butterflies, by counting them and planting nectar sources, such as Lavendar, Catmint, Oregano, Echinacea and Cranesbill in your garden or on your window sill.

It is because the insects are rapidly declining, with one third in danger of extinction.

Sir David Attenborough has teamed up with charity Butterfly Conservation for the world’s largest butterfly survey, that starts today (17th July).

Sir David said: “The UK’s butterflies really need your help this summer. Three-quarters are in decline and one-third in danger of extinction.

“The ongoing and alarming loss of their habitat is a major and worrying factor in their falling numbers.

“But by taking one simple step you can help to reverse this loss. Plant a few pots in your garden or on your window ledge with the right plants and you can provide butterflies, moths and other pollinating insects with a lifeline of food and shelter.

“It’s up to every single one of us to make sure that the spectacle of mid –summer butterflies remains a much anticipated highlight of the season rather than becoming a long-mourned memory.

“Make yours a butterfly summer by getting out for the Count.”

The charity says you can also do as many counts as you like in your own garden between 17th July and 9th August.

It suggests finding a sunny place and spending 15 minutes counting every butterfly seen and then submitting sightings online.

There is also a guide to identifying different species on the charity’s website.

In addition, two walks run by Butterfly Conservation will be taking place in Surrey this weekend.

Tomorrow there is one to Walton Downs and Juniper Hill (18th July), offering advice on what to plant in your garden and helping you search for summer butterflies.

The second is taking place at Chobham Common on Sunday (19th July).

Last year 45,000 people took part in last year’s Big Butterfly Count, spotting almost 560,000 butterflies.

Other findings included: the Small Tortoiseshell continued its fight back after years of decline. The butterfly, whose population has plummeted by 78% since the 1970s, saw numbers rise by almost a quarter compared to the summer of 2013 making it the fourth most commonly seen Big Butterfly Count species – its highest ever ranking. Last summer was also good for Peacock, which was the most abundant Count butterfly.

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