The DFN Foundation Announced as Co-Sponsor of The Big Butterfly Count

Posted on: 17th July 2020.

The Big Butterfly Count 2020 has launched today, July 17th.

Chris Packham and wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation are launching this year’s Big Butterfly Count as a chance for the public to give a gift back to nature this summer. As so many of us have sought comfort, inspiration and hope through spending time in nature during the difficult last few months of lockdown, participating in the Big Butterfly Count is an easy way for us to do something positive to give back and help conserve nature for future generations.

The fine weather of spring 2020 has seen the earliest average emergences of butterflies for the last 20 years and Butterfly Conservation has received thousands of extra enquiries about butterfly and moth sightings made by an ever more nature-loving public. Photo taken by Megan McCubbin.

The Big Butterfly Count, Butterfly Conservation’s annual citizen science event, saw over 113,000 members of the public take part last year and is now ready for its biggest year yet. The UK-wide survey simply asks you to spend 15 minutes in an outdoor space counting the amount and type of butterflies (and some day-flying moths) you see.

Chris Packham said: "While so many of us have had a bit more time to appreciate the nature on our doorsteps during the lockdown period, and learning about the natural world has been a mindful distraction from uncertainty, this is a real chance to do something positive and contribute to conserving nature. Butterflies and moths are key indicators of the health of our environment and anyone can help contribute to our understanding of these incredible creatures by taking part in in the Big Butterfly Count.

"The sightings you submit will be used to map and measure populations and the geographic spread of species across the UK. We’re asking everyone who have been given a helping hand from nature this year to return the favour."

Dr Zoë Randle, Senior Surveys Officer at Butterfly Conservation said: “We’re excited to find out the results from the Big Butterfly Count this year. The very sunny spring weather meant that almost all butterfly species have emerged early this summer, so we’re hoping for some interesting data. As our weather patterns change it’s more important than ever for us to be able capture this information.

"We've seen an incredible amount of interest from people who have been out and about in their gardens and local areas spotting butterflies for the first time. From children learning about the lifecycle of a butterfly from a caterpillar found in their own back gardens to adults who have spotted a fluttering Red Admiral while exercising outside instead of at the gym.

"Nature has really shown its true value to us this year, but it is still under threat. Now, more than ever, we must all do our little bit to protect it."

The DFN Foundation is a commissioning charity established in 2014 to make a positive difference to the lives of young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Today its reach has grown to influencing policy and funding developments in special needs education, employability, healthcare and conservation.

.Its vision is to transform life outcomes for people throughout the country, bringing positive and lasting change that unlocks natural potential and builds a more inclusive and environmentally conscious society.

David Forbes Nixon, chairman of the DFN Foundation, said: "The DFN Foundation is committed to ensuring the survival and re-introducing of some of the rarer species of the British Butterfly.

"We continue to work with our partners to raise awareness of the need to secure butterfly habitats and why it is vital to the long-term sustainability of our environment and ecosystem.

"From this perspective we are excited to be the official co-sponsor of the Big Butterfly Count from 2020 to 2023 and look forward to working with them to identify trends in species that will help us plan how to protect butterflies from extinction, as well as understand the effect of climate change on wildlife."

He added: "The recent Pandemic has brought into even greater focus the need for us to protect the environment and connect with nature in a positive and meaningful way. “We now have a huge opportunity to build on this momentum and engage with young and old across the country on the importance of butterfly conservation, helping to improve our whole environment for wildlife and enrich the lives of people now and in the future."

The Big Butterfly Count is open to everyone, from ages from 3 to 103, and provides a real contribution to science and our understanding of butterfly and moth populations in the UK, a key indicator of the health of our environment, including the effects of climate change.

Simply visit to find out more or download the free Big Butterfly Count app to enter your findings.

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