Sussex people urged to take action to help dwindling butterfly population

Sir David Attenborough is urging people in Sussex to spend this weekend taking action for butterflies to mark the 50th anniversary of wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation (BC).

Thursday, 8th March 2018, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:42 am
Small pearl-bordered fritillary. Photo: Neil Hulme
Small pearl-bordered fritillary. Photo: Neil Hulme

The charity is celebrating its landmark birthday over the weekend of March 10/11 by holding a UK-wide conservation day of action, where it’s hoped a record number of people will carry out practical work to improve and create habitats for their local butterfly and moth species.

More than three-quarters of the UK’s butterflies and two-thirds of our larger moths have declined in the last 40 years.

BC President Sir David Attenborough said: “Half a century ago a small group of naturalists became so concerned about the plight of the UK’s butterflies that they decided to join forces to protect them.

Sir David Attenborough

“That organisation became Butterfly Conservation and 50 years later the need for people who care about our butterflies and moths is greater than ever before.

“You can do your bit for butterflies by taking part in Butterfly Conservation’s Day of Action. By working together we can all take some simple steps to provide butterflies with a future.”

People are invited to join BC’s Sussex Branch on Sunday March 11 from 8.30am until 1pm at BC’s Rowland Wood and Park Corner Heath reserves, between Uckfield and Hailsham.

Both reserves are part of Vert Wood near East Hoathly and are home to species like the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and White Admiral butterflies.

White Admiral. Photo: Tim Melling

Chair of the Sussex Branch, Nigel Symington, said: “Please join us to celebrate our special birthday and help us to improve this habitat for all the butterflies and moths using these beautiful reserves.

“We will be renovating the visitors shed and clearing rubbish from the reserves – all tools and cake will be provided - just email [email protected] for more details.

“BC Branches from all over the UK will be holding similar anniversary events, so this could end up being one of the biggest conservation weekends in BC’s history.”

BC was founded in March 1968 and is now one of the largest insect conservation organisations in the world.

The charity runs projects to protect more than 100 threatened species, as well as conserving hundreds of sites and reserves across the country.

There are working parties and days of action organised across Sussex.

People can find out more information on the events taking place near them by visiting: