Recovery in butterfly populations

A number of butterfly species have survived extinction in the past year, with some battling back to reasonably strong numbers, a new study has shown.

The Big Butterfly Count saw garden and greenhouse enthusiasts all over the UK report sightings of the winged insects, which begin life as caterpillars.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the survey saw more than 10,000 Brits report approximately 187,000 sightings.

Particularly pleasing to experts was the recovery of the Small Tortoiseshell, which has battled back from the brink of extinction.

At one point, 82 per cent of the population had died out due to problems caused by parasitic flies.

However, it has now re-established itself as the ninth most common butterfly in the UK.

Despite the strong recovery, Butterfly Conservation warned that the creatures are still at risk of extinction, which could encourage garden and greenhouse enthusiasts to create butterfly-friendly habitats.

Meanwhile, the RHS has reported that a Dutch elm disease-resistant elm tree has been identified as the most suitable candidate to return the tree to the UK.