It’s a sad fact that four species of butterfly once resident in the
According to the UK-based charity, Butterfly Conservation, there are a number of things we can do to help. In the
So, to encourage butterflies into your garden think about doing some (or all) of the following:
- Plant nectar rich flowers: Buddleia, Ice Plant, Lavender, Michaelmas Daisy, Oregano, Aubretia, Red Valerian, French Marigold, Hebe and Candytuft;
- Adult butterflies lay eggs on the foodplant of their caterpillar, so make sure you cater for them too. If you have a vegetable patch grow nasturtiums to lure Large and Small White caterpillars away from your brassicas. Stinging nettles (which can be grown in a container) are a favourite of both the Red Admiral and the Comma;
- Environmentally friendly gardening can make a big difference, so cut down on your use of herbicides and pesticides – they kill butterflies, moths and many other pollinating insects, as well as ladybirds and spiders;
- If you have the space, create a wildflower meadow. Sow a mixture of wildflower and grass seed on bare ground or let grasses that are already there grow and add wildflower plants.
Finally, how about getting involved! Every year thousands of people (including myself) record the butterflies they see; these ‘records’ are vital for conservation. For more info visit the recording and monitoring section of www.butterfly-conservation.org.