Wet weather in 2012 'benefited butterflies'

The wet weather in 2012 dampened the spirits for many but Butterflies that feed on grasses benefited greatly from drizzly Britain.

Undated handout photo issued by the Butterfly Conservation of a Small Tortoishell butterfly. Credit: Jim Asher/Butterfly Conservation/PA Wire

The year, which started with hot weather, saw incessant rain from April which prompted substantial grass growth that benefited species such as meadow browns, ringlets and gatekeeper butterflies.

Ringlet butterflies. Credit: Keith Warmington/Butterfly Conservation/PA Wire

But most butterfly species struggled in the constantly wet and cool conditions.

A Painted Lady butterfly. Credit: Matt Berry/PA Wire

The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey recorded 18,500 meadow brown butterflies across 700 1km squares in the UK countryside in 2012, almost twice as many as in 2011 and the most counted in the four years the study has been running.