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  1. ITV Report

An increasing decline in butterflies numbers isn't being helped by a wet summer

They're a quintessential feature of any summer garden, field or woodland but butterflies are becoming an increasingly rare sight. Of the 59 species in the UK three quarters of them have seen a significant decline in the last 40 years.

See Kate Prout's report here

Climate change, the use of pesticides and the disappearance of wild flowers and hedgerows are all contributing to declining numbers. A mild winter and wet summer means many species are coming out of hibernation too early.

"They're kind of an early warning system for the health of the entire environment. So a bit like a canary for men down mines is an indicator that there is something wrong with the environment and its not safe anymore. Butterflies do that for us. So if butterflies are struggling then the environment in that area is likely to be struggling. They're one of the first things to respond to changes."

– Kiri Stuart-Clarke, Norfolk Butterfly Conservation Society
Kiri Stuart-Clarke at Cley, Norfolk Credit: ITV Anglia

We can all do out bit to help by planting wild flowers in our gardens and taking part in the Big Butterfly Count. This will help scientists ascertain just how many remain and which species are most in danger. To take part or find out more click here