Butterfly Survey

The Friends of Poets’ Walk are taking part in The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme using a fixed-route walk (transect) over Church Hill and Wain’s Hill drawn up and registered on-line in 2016 by our butterfly representative Bill Thompson.

Latest news – October 2018: Having now completed our 3rd year of butterfly monitoring we have some interesting comparisons to make about the butterfly population locally.

This year we recorded a total of 1754 butterflies compared with 1323 last year, but unfortunately there were no unusual species seen this time. Although there has been a steady increase in numbers over the three years of our study, there was a collapse in numbers this year for quite a few species, despite the hot summer weather. Small White and Meadow Brown were our highest scorers with massive increases over previous years.

Lots more information in Bill’s end of 2018 season summary

Our sightings in 2017 are summarised in Bill’s end of 2017 season summary

Our sightings in 2016 are summarised in Bill’s end of  2016 season summary


Poets Walk Butterflies Transect map

To take part in the scheme a transect must be established at a chosen site and butterflies are recorded along the route on a regular (weekly) basis under reasonable weather conditions for a number of years. A transect route is divided into sections, which are chosen to represent the various habitat types and management activities across the site. It must remain unchanged to enable butterfly sightings to be compared from year to year.

Butterflies are recorded from the beginning of April until the end of September. Certain requirements apply relating to time of day and weather conditions. Data is recorded and summarized results submitted to the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS).

Our Church Hill and Wain’s Hill transect is divided into nine sections starting at the path (Hack’s Way) on Old Church Road and ending on the coastal path. Its total length is about 2.6 km (1.6 miles) and the walk takes around one hour.

Butterfly identification – hover over any image to name the butterfly or click to enlarge

For a useful guide to indentifying our British blue butterflies click here