Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Welcome to the Suffolk Branch of Butterfly Conservation
Butterfly Conservation is a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of butterflies and moths

Dingy Skipper Surveys in King's Forest

I still plan to visit the area and undertake the Dingy Skipper surveys as best I can but clearly some of the key areas may be out of bounds due to forestry operations.  In addition, as with previous years the weather could ruin everything! 

A few Dingy Skippers were on the wing early, my first was on the 29th April and small numbers have been reported since.  I am hoping that the flight season should be well on it's way for the survey days.

The planned visits are:
Monday 22nd May- 10.30am- Chalk Lane and Kings Forest North. Meet at small parking area on right on northbound B1106 at TL823753

Wednesday 24th May- 10.30am- Archery area and Wordwell edges (subject to forestry operations). Meet at small parking area on left on northbound B1106 at TL826738 (John O'Groats Cottages)

Friday 26th May - 10.30am -Barnham Cross Common (+St Edmund Way/ Angles Way) Meet at small parking area on left, (just past RAF Barnham) on northbound A134.

I plan to be out most of the day, weather dependant.  So, please come for a couple of hours or the whole day.  Please bring sandwiches and a drink if the latter.  Please let me know if you can attend so I have an idea as to numbers.  Any additional information will be added here although I will also email anyone interested directly. 

If you cannot make the above but still want to look for Dingy Skippers then please get in touch and I will select some areas for you.

Many thanks,
Bill Stone, 
Suffolk Butterfly Recorder,
M:07906 888603 email

Help Count Silver-studded Blues

Members ofthe Suffolk Branch have been monitoring the Silver-studded Blue population for several years.

We are looking for volunteers who are willing to walk the transects at Dunwich Heath and Minsmere during June and July.

We are also helping to restore heathland for this and other species.  As part of the Ipswich Heaths Project we have regular work parties and would welcome new volunteers.

Please email  Helen Saunders at  to volunteer to count Silver-studded Blues at Dunwich and Minsmere or to help with the restoration of vital heath habitat near Ipswich.


These are becoming more popular and we are usually asked if someone who can help identify butterflies could attend.  There are too few existing volunteers to attend them all. 

So we are hoping that some of our members feel able to help out.  Otherwise we will be unable to providee any assistance at many of the Bioblitzes currenly planned.

These are the locations and dates for which we have been asked to help

1.  Lukeswood in Elmswell  on 30th June-1st July

2.  FSC Flatford Mill will be holding a public 14 hour Bioblitz survey on Sunday 11th June

3.  RSPB Woodbridge Local Group is having a BBQ at Poker Wood on Wednesday, 21st June

4,  Monday 05th June, Venue: Port of Felixstowe.  10.00 set up for 11.00am start, 14.00 event ends

For full details click here go to the Bioblitz page

Distribution Maps for Suffolk Butterflies 2011-2015

The Suffolk Butterfly Recorder, Bill Stone, has prepared distribution maps for 2011 - 2015 for all the butterflies that can be found in Suffolk.  For anyone who has the maps produced 15 years ago* they show significant differences for some species.  For example the Wall is now almost entirely restricted to the coast and the Silver-washed Fritillary was not present in Suffolk.

Click here for the new Distribution Maps

*The Millennium Atlas of Suffolk Butterflies, 2001, by Richard Stewart. Published by Suffolk Naturalists'Society. 5 from SNS [You can order from Ipswich Museum by phone, 01473 433547].

You can also see the UK distibution maps for the most recent five-year survey of the Butterflies for the New Millennium (BNM) recording scheme (2010-2014). 
Click here to download the Atlas of UK Butterflies 2010-2014 in pdf format (11 MB).

Next Local Events -

Plant Heritage Spring Plant Fair at Helmingham Hall
Come and find Suffolk Branch in the Conservation Zone at Plant Heritage (Suffolk Group's) Spring Fair at Helmingham Hall Gardens.  There will be children activities on offer so this event is suitable for our family members too.
Map Ref: TM186576
Time: 10.00 am – 16.00 pm
For more information visit the Helmingham Hall events page at www.helmingham.com.
7 entrance fee per person. All children  under 16 years free.

Saturday 10th June    Wood White Event
Wood White in the Salcey Forest Wood White and possibly Black Hairstreak
Where:  Salcey Forest,Northamptonshire
Contact Peter Maddison, 01473 736607, near the date for details

Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS)

The WCBS is a national scheme which complements the transects of the UK BMS with mini transects walked in squares randomly selected by the BTO computer.  Volunteers from Butterfly Conservation and the BTO need to walk just twice per year in July and August (with an optional spring walk if you wish).  This means that the commitment is not heavy.

We have eight squares in need of a volunteer
OS Grid Reference,  Town/Parish,  Post Code
TL7573  Icklingham  IP28 6PZ
TL9479  Coney Weston  IP31 1HL
TL9577  Coney Weston  IP31 1DL
TM0969  Wickham Skeith  IP23 8LX

Email our WCBS co-ordinator, Twm Wade to volunteer for one of these squares

Download the 2015 report

Download the 2016 Report

BMS - Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
BTO - British Trust for Ornithology

40 year slump for UK Butterflies

More than three-quarters of the UK’s butterflies have declined in the last 40 years with some common species suffering significant slumps, a major scientific study has revealed.  A number of widespread species such as the Wall, Essex Skipper and Small Heath now rank amongst the most severely declining butterflies in the UK. 

The findings also reveal that intensive conservation efforts have started to turn around the fortunes of some of the UK’s most endangered butterflies. During the last 10 years the numbers of the threatened Duke of Burgundy have increased by 67% and the Pearl-bordered Fritillary has experienced a 45% rise in abundance.  Dingy Skipper and Silver-studded Blue have shown 21% and 19% increases in occurrence respectively and even the UK’s most endangered butterfly, the High Brown Fritillary, has been relatively stable in the last decade.

But despite breakthroughs with some threatened butterflies the report revealed that other species continue to struggle.  The long-term decline of the Wood White, White Admiral and Marsh Fritillary show few signs of stopping. 

Download in pdf format the full 'State of UK Butterflies 2015' report here

Join Butterfly Conservation FREE MEMBERSHIP at the moment
- click here to go to the National Butterfly Conservation website to join.

Do we have your email address?
It will help us to communicate changes to events (as above) if we have your email address.
Please email your name to using your normal email address and email address as the subject.  This can then be added to our membership list.
Follow us on Twitter. 
But still send your sightings to

When to See Butterflies. 

Suffolk Butterflies page lists the butterflies that can be seen in Suffolk, shows when you can expect to see them and the foodplants upon which their caterpillars feed.
We can also help if you would like advice about making your garden more attractive to butterflies

See the News page for dates of First Sightings

Like much of the UK, Suffolk's countryside and wildlife are under increasing pressure.  It's a situation that is unlikely to improve in the forseeable future and there's never been a more urgent need to understand and conserve our butterfly fauna.  The county has a gently undulating landscape of surprising contrasts, defying the stereotype of "flat East Anglia and its arable prairies".  The unspoilt coast, intimate river valleys and, especially, the Sandlings heaths and Brecks ensure that Suffolk retains a more varied butterfly fauna than might be expected.

Some recommended books are listed here

 Butterfly Records.

The Branch is always grateful for butterfly records and a recording form can be downloaded from the
recording page of this website.
We would be particularly grateful for records away from the coast and information on the following species:

Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak, White Letter Hairstreak, Silver-studded Blue, Wall Brown, White Admiral, Silver-washed Fritillary, Grayling and Small Heath.

email your sightings to us at

Recent Sightings can be viewed here

Conservation and Recording

Brimstone - about the Brimstone and Buckthorn project
Help us to record Brimstone butterflies in Suffolk

Silver-studded Blue - links to more information
Translocation to Blaxhall Common - 2012 Update
Ecological Survey of Selected Silver-studded Blue Sites in 2009

Silver-Washed Fritillary - link for more information
Silver-washed Fritillary returns to Suffolk

Purple Emperor - link for more information

Ipswich Heaths Project - a new project, aimed at restoring lowland heathland habitat of 300 hectares on 14 sites in Ipswich, has been awarded a Wren Biodiversity Action Fund grant of over 100,000.  More details here

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