The Big Butterfly Count 2022 is upon us! Running until 7th August, this nationwide citizen science project is a fantastic way to help our native butterflies whilst having a bit of fun in the process. With numbers of many of our native species dwindling, it’s more important than ever to keep tabs on their populations. Using the data from your sightings, conservationists can gain a clearer picture of how species are faring in different areas and habitats, which in turn helps to inform their conservation.
All you need to do is pick a spot in your garden or out and about where you’re likely to see some butterflies. Sit for 15 minutes and jot down how many of each species you see using Butterfly Conservation’s handy ID chart. It’s a great excuse to relax for 15 minutes, a fun project to do with the kids, and an easy way to do your bit to help out our butterflies in their hour of need. If you want to do more to help butterflies, we’ve compiled our top recommendations for the best plants for butterflies below too. Let’s make this year’s Big Butterfly Count as big as the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch!
Maybe you’d like to see some more butterflies in your garden? Here are a few of our top recommendations for the best plants to attract butterflies to your garden.
Best plants for attracting butterflies
- Buddleja – known as butterfly bush, buddleja will be a magnet for any butterflies in the area. Our famous dwarf Buddleja Buzz® packs the same punch whilst fitting in even the smallest garden or patio!
- Verbena bonariensis – a hardworking herbaceous perennial that’s a staple of borders and naturalistic planting. Butterflies love drawing nectar from the tiny tubular flowers.
- Knapweed (Centaurea nigra) – a fantastic addition to any wildflower meadow that’s a magnet for butterflies and bees alike, and is particularly attractive to the beautiful marbled white butterfly.
- Scabious (Knautia) – there are many varieties in a range of sizes and colours to suit any border, container or wildflower meadow. Field scabious is a UK native wildflower that’s great for incorporating into any meadow and is loved by butterflies.
- Lavender – it’s evergreen, it’s fragrant, it’s drought resistant and butterflies love it – what more reason do you need to plant lavender? Cultivars of Lavandula x intermedia are the best of all for pollinators.
- Marjoram – as well as being a valuable culinary herb, marjoram is a great all-rounder that’s loved by a whole range of pollinators.
See our guide to how to encourage butterflies into your garden and our top 10 plants for butterflies for more ideas.