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 July 2019We had a better than usual spring in terms of numbers due to several bouts of hot weather, compared to the average.

painted lady

painted lady

The highlight so far has been a large cluster of Painted Ladies swarming over the valerian close to the Battery on Poets’ Walk. Unfortunately they were off the transect route and therefore were not counted in our survey. However, on the same day the transect walk recorded four Painted Ladies.


brown argus

brown argus

Another highlight was the recording of a Brown Argus. We have not seen this butterfly on Poets’ Walk previously but I know they are well established on the lower slopes of Crook Peak in the Mendips. Again this was a casual observation and not during a transect. It may be confused with a female common blue but is a bit smaller.

The following graphs illustrate the latest statistics (up to the end of July) from this year’s survey. Click image to enlarge

Our sightings in 2018 are summarised 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