Hot summer sees butterfly count up fourfold

A butterfly sits on a lavender plant in Chester Zoo's gardens. Credit: PA

The hot summer has helped butterflies bounce back after a string of poor years, an annual survey has revealed.

Warm, sunny spells in July and August significantly boosted numbers compared to 2012's washout summer, which was the worst year on record for the insects, wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation said.

Overall, four times as many butterflies were recorded, with a record-breaking 46,000 people counting more than 830,000 butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK over three weeks in July and August.

Both the small white and large white did well, with numbers up by more than 300% for each species. They occupied the first and second spot for most commonly spotted butterflies, while peacock butterflies came in third.