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Butterfly Decline

I hear Monty Don and others going on about the decline of the butterfly but as I write this, sitting at my desk in front of my huge panorama window overlooking the garden, I have never seen so many green veined butterfly. I live half of my life back home in Tanzania and there also there is no evidence of butterfly decline, far from it! We are awash with butterflies. So where is the evidence to the contrary coming from? 


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,556

    The lack of different species for a start. My garden is full of various whites, a few peacocks and commas. I've seen maybe 3 common blues, one painted lady, a few tortoiseshells and no red admirals. This is not what I was seeing a few years ago when the garden was alive with all species.

    Earlier on there were a few meadow browns, one gatekeeper and a few ringlets. The only butterfly I've seen more of this year is the speckled wood.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,156

    Snap. At the moment all I've got are whites homing in on the brassicas.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    I would recommend that you read a book published in 1962 by someone called Rachel Carson. It is called The Silent Spring. It is a good place to start your enquiries, even though it was written so long ago.

    What she wrote then holds true now. The evidence is there for all to see but nobody wants to see because to see would mean to act and to act would mean to lose votes and to lose votes would mean to lose power. And one thing politicians love is power.

    I am just old enough to remember farming before the introduction of cheap organophosphates and other chemical "improvers". Even though I grew up in a city that was engulfed in smog from coal mines, steel works and foundries, almost to the extent that we now see in China, the fields around the city were alive with insects when I was small.

    Now I live in a National Park where one can hardly paint a fence without someone asking what is in the paint. Yet there are relatively few species of insects and relatively few of those in number.

    My father was a biochemist and an amateur, though well-read, entomologist and I have always taken a keen interest in the subject.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,556

    She was so right wb. I read that again recently

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    It makes for even more depressing reading 50-odd years on.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,556

    It does

  • fidgetbones wrote (see)

    Snap. At the moment all I've got are whites homing in on the brassicas.

    same here.. last year my white scented budlehia was covered in peacock and red admiral butterflis but not one this year at all...


    last year




  • SingySingy Posts: 206

    I cant reference the past as i have not been interested in gardening that long, but i find that my garden is full of insects, i have taken a lot more interest since the all the recent publicity on the matter, there are lots of bees or all sorts, hoverflies, ladybirds, butterflies and caterpillars, i have noted around 20 types or caterpillar so far and i dont go looking for them. I am in the north west by the way.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,145

    Saw my first Red Admiral at the weekend on my big white buddleia here so there's still hope! image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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