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Butterfly numbers soar in Pembrokeshire

Credit: Bob Eade, Butterfly Conservation

A blue butterfly which has been struggling for the last 40 years could be making a comeback, wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation has revealed.

During 2018’s record-breaking hot weather, Common Blue numbers soared across the UK, increasing by 104% on the previous year – and following this year’s heatwave, experts are predicting the butterfly could see its best ever summer.

In Wales their numbers were up 94% for the same period.

Credit: PA Images

The butterflies prefer grassland, woodland clearings, heathland and even sand dunes as on the Pembrokeshire Coast.

Credit: Mark Searle, Butterfly Conservation

People should be able to spot these butterflies in National Parks areas as their caterpillars mainly feed on the wildflower, Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil. In England last year, the butterfly’s numbers were up 110% from 2017 and in Wales their numbers were up 94% for the same period.

However, numbers of the first brood which emerged in June were slightly down on last year, so it will be interesting to see how the second brood emerging in August will respond to the heatwave.

It would really help us if people could get outside and look for this butterfly, so we can see if its fortunes really have turned around or if the Common Blue still needs our help.

– Dr Zoe Randle, Butterfly Conservation