Nature lovers urged to plant butterfly-friendly flowers in their garden to help reverse declining numbers

A small Tortoiseshell butterfly on lavende. Credit: PA

Nature lovers are being urged by Sir David Attenborough to plant butterfly-friendly flowers in their garden to help reverse declining numbers of the insects.

Attenborough launched the annual Big Butterfly Count, asking people are asked to spot and record 18 species of common butterflies and two day-flying moths over three weeks of the summer.

As Butterfly Conservation president, he said everyone could play a part in reversing declines in butterflies, insects and other wildlife.

Gardeners might want to plant pots in their gardens or window ledges with nectar sources such as catmint, lavender, cranesbill, oregano and Echinacea, he urged.Doing so would provide food needed by butterflies, moths, bees and other pollinating insects and attract species such as red admirals, brimstone and green-veined whites.

It's up to every single one of us to make sure that the spectacle of mid-summer butterflies remains a much anticipated highlight of the season rather than becoming a long-mourned memory. Make yours a butterfly summer by getting out for the Count.

Sir David Attenborough

As many as 45,000 people took part in 2014's Big Butterfly Count, spotting almost 560,000 butterflies.

The count runs from July 17 to August 9, and people just have to find a sunny place and spend 15 minutes counting every butterfly seen, and submit sightings online atwww.bigbutterflycount.org