1. ITV Report

World's largest butterfly survey shows health of environment

A peacock butterfly and a small tortoiseshell bask on a buddleia Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA

Nature lovers will be helping to count butterflies as part of the world's largest butterfly survey. The Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation is asking people to look for the Red Admiral, Common Blue, Painted Lady and other Big Butterfly Count species during the event on at Kynance Cove, near The Lizard to give them an idea of how healthy our environment is.

Common Blue butterfly will be counted in the survey Credit: Patrick Pleul/DPA/Press Association Images

“Butterflies fought back last year after a terrible 2012 but despite this, butterfly numbers were still below average. Three-quarters of the UK’s butterflies are in decline and one-third are in danger of extinction.

“This is bad news for butterflies and it is bad news for the UK’s birds, bees, bats and other wildlife. This is because butterflies are a key indicator species of the health of our environment – if they are struggling, then many other species are struggling also.

"Every single person taking part in the Big Butterfly Count this summer can produce a statistic that is of real value as their records help build a picture of how butterflies are faring and how we can best conserve them.”

– Sir David Attenborough, Butterfly Conservation’s President
Painted Lady butterfly will be counted Credit: Hinrich BÀsemann/DPA/Press Association Images

“This is the perfect opportunity to take part in some final counts in a location that is quite simply breath-taking.

“As well as the Big Butterfly Count Species, we’ll also be hoping to see the beautiful Clouded Yellow and a number of other butterflies.”

She added: “Just turn up on the day with a packed lunch, sun cream and some good walking boots and you could be among some of the last people in the country to complete the world’s largest butterfly survey.”

– Jo Poland, Cornwall Branch of Butterfly Conservation