Forget Brexit for a while and count the butterflies, Attenborough tells Brits

Sir David Attenborough

"Spending time with nature offers us all precious breathing space away from the stresses and strains of modern life, it enables us to experience joy and wonder, to slow down and to appreciate the wildlife that lives side by side with us".

However, this year, weather in the United Kingdom has created the right conditions for butterflies to flourish.

The big butterfly count was launched in 2010 in an attempt to assess the state of the nation's wildlife, and has rapidly become the world's biggest survey of butterflies: previous year over 60,000 people took part.

The national event, which launches on Friday, invites people all over the country to record how numerous winged species they can spot for the Butterfly Conservation charity.

Described as "taking the pulse" of nature, butterflies are one of the species that react very quickly to change in their environment, making them excellent biodiversity indicators.

He added that this year's count looks "pretty promising at the moment", partly due to the warm weather over recent weeks, adding: "Butterflies can bounce back".

According to the group, research has shown that spending time in nature, like watching butterflies, can have positive benefits for mental health and wellbeing.

Naga Munchetty
Naga Munchetty returned to butterflies asking why they were so colourful

Butterfly Conservation President Sir David said that taking part not only generates important data on butterflies, but also provides participants with precious time out from the stresses of life.

Unwilling to chat about the boat that's launched and named after him, he simply stated: 'I wanted to talk about the Big Butterfly Count, that's why you invited me here'.

This year's survey is particularly important because of the ongoing heatwave in many parts of the United Kingdom: the drought in 1976 decimated populations of butterflies.

■ BIRDS and butterflies living on farmland are in serious decline, a government study has revealed.

The report blames the dwindling numbers of butterflies on the 'lack of woodland management and loss of open spaces in woods'.

They claim that butterflies, bees and other insects are particularly vulnerable as rules and regulations change following the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

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