Live updates

Browns 'top big butterfly hunt'

Gatekeeper butterfly Credit: Butterfly Conservation

The charity Butterfly Conservation says this year's Big Butterfly Count has seen an increase in brown coloured species.

The Meadow Brown was the most commonly seen species and the butterfly saw a 51% surge in numbers compared to last year’s Count.

The Gatekeeper remained stable in numbers and although the butterfly topped the 2014 Count, this time it was pushed into second place by the Meadow Brown. The Ringlet saw a 100% increase to secure third place.

Meadow Brown. Credit: Butterfly Conservation

The average number of individual butterflies seen per Count was 12, down 18% compared to last year.

The white butterflies all suffered big decreases, as did the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock, both of which were only half as abundant in Wales this summer as in the previous one.

Top ten species ranking in Wales:

  • Meadow Brown 4,808 seen
  • Gatekeeper 3,777
  • Ringlet 1,755
  • Large White 1,646
  • Small White 1,310
  • Small Tortoiseshell 1,296
  • Peacock 1,044
  • Red Admiral 974
  • Six-spot Burnet 965
  • Speckled Wood 731


Switching energy suppliers could save '£200 or more'

More than half a million Welsh households could save £200 or more by switching gas and electricity suppliers, new government figures suggest.

Credit: PA

But a recent poll found that only 6% of people in Wales realised they could save that amount by switching, with around one quarter estimating they would save £50 or less.

"With winter almost upon us, many consumers will be dreading higher energy bills... I'd urge consumers to take control of their energy bills before the cold weather starts to bite."

– Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch

Flood warning and alerts ahead of 'supertides'

High tides mean a large Severn Bore. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

There is one flood warning and seven flood alerts in force for parts of South and West Wales ahead of what are expected to be so-called supertides.

The high tides coincide with the Moon orbiting the Earth at its closest approach (or Perigee). That has led to this week's supermoon.

They will also lead to a strong Severn Bore.


Snowdonia pylons could be removed under new plans

Credit: Neil Squires/PA Images

Snowdonia is one of four protected landscapes which are to be transformed by removing the electricity pylons and overhead lines that scar the view, under plans unveiled by National Grid.

Funding of £500 million will go to reducing the visual impact of stretches of high-voltage transmission lines in the national park and three other areas of England by replacing them with underground cables.

But the Brecon Beacons National Park was not prioritised for a share of the cash.

Reducing the visual impact of pylons and power lines in our most precious landscapes is highly desirable, but it is also very expensive and technically complex so we have had to make some difficult decisions.

Although four schemes have been prioritised, none of the locations on our original short list have been dropped and they will remain under consideration for future work to reduce the impact of National Grid's transmission lines under the vision impact provision project.

– Chris Baines, Environmentalist

Lottery cash boost for Wales' red squirrel population

Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Parts of north and mid Wales are share a part of £1.2m lottery cash to preserve the native red squirrel across the UK.

Funding will go to support a four-year programme to secure the future of the native red, immortalised as "Squirrel Nutkin" by Beatrix Potter which has been driven out by the grey squirrel.

The project will involve culling grey squirrels to preserve existing areas which are free of the non-native species, for example on the island of Anglesey and in Kielder Forest, and protect conifer woodland habitat where red squirrels thrive and greys do not. It will extend existing red squirrel "protection zones" in mid-Wales and Merseyside and take a whole country approach to preserving the native reds in Northern Ireland.

Load more updates