If you have a spare moment in the next few weeks, and if it’s not pouring with rain, you could help contribute towards conservation studies in the UK by participating in the Big Butterfly Count. Starting today, and running until the 11th August, the purpose of this event is to take a reliable survey of the British butterfly population.

There has been concern in recent years that the number of butterflies has been dropping due to habitat destruction and overuse of pesticides. As well as making our gardens less colourful, a sharp decline in butterflies would trigger the beginning of an ecological crisis. Like bees, butterflies are crucial to the pollination process. If butterfly numbers dwindle too severely, there will be fewer plants pollinated, which means less greenery, and the logical conclusion of this means the mass extinction of plant and animal species within a century, which is not ideal.

Current figures suggest that the local butterfly population has declined by as much as 77% since 1976, which is somewhat terrifying. However, there has been suggestion that some specific species have actually increased in number. The large blue butterfly (yes, that’s its official name, if perhaps a little unimaginative) was thought to have been extinct in the UK in 1979, but a successful reintroduction has seen numbers balloon. There is also hope that the painted lady butterfly, which migrates from Europe, will arrive in larger than usual numbers this summer, based on reports of large colonies seen moving across the continent.

If you’d like to participate in the Big Butterfly Count, all you need to do is sit in a sunny spot in your garden or a field for 15 minutes and list the butterflies you see. If, like most people, you don’t know your red admiral from your monarch, you can download a handy guide which will allow you to identify each species. Once you’ve got your tally, submit it to the Big Butterfly Count website. You can find out more by clicking below.


If, like us, you care about the environment and want to take every measure you can to protect it, we have a fantastic webinar on making your veterinary practice more sustainable. This webinar usually retails for £30 + VAT, but for the next two weeks we are giving it away for the reduced price of £20+ VAT. In “One practice’s journey towards environmental sustainability”, Ellie West of Davies Veterinary Specialists explains how her practice gained their Silver Level accreditation with Investors in the Environment. During this webinar, Ellie will increase your carbon literacy, explore the challenges and barriers to improving sustainability in your daily practice, and find some positive solutions to implement sustainability. If you would like to purchase this webinar, you can do so by clicking the button below.


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