The annual Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) has posted bumper figures for the past twelve months, with almost double the number of insects recorded compared to one year earlier.
According to the Butterfly Conservation charity, butterflies were a major beneficiary of last year’s hot summer. The long, sunny periods afforded perfect breeding conditions for some of the UK’s most colourful species.
Volunteers monitored 850 randomly selected 1km squares of farmland in order to ascertain a broad picture of butterfly health across the UK. Small Tortoiseshell butterflies appear to have bucked a recent downturn in fortunes and flourished in 2013.
The WCBS have warned however, that the mild winter the UK has experienced could lead to butterflies emerging earlier than expected this year, without the requisite food sources being ready. It is also unknown how much the violent and wet weather will affect populations in 2014.