Butterflies are counting on hot weather for a bumper season
- Credit: Helen Atkinson
The glorious summer weather has seen the country bathed in sunshine as families make the most of the hot conditions.
And the current heat wave is also giving a boost to colourful insects that are enjoying basking in the best weather conditions for them in 10 years in our region.
Butterflies are lapping up the sunny weather as it is enabling widespread species to fly, feed and breed at large.
As butterflies flit their way across gardens, parks and nature spots people in Norfolk and Suffolk are being encouraged to take part in the Big Butterfly Count, which launched today.
The count has been organised by the Butterfly Conservation, whose president Sir David Attenborough said that taking part not only generates important data on butterflies, but also provides participants with precious time out from the stresses of life.
Sir David said: 'I have been privileged to have witnessed some truly breath-taking wildlife spectacles in far-flung locations but some of my most memorable experiences have happened when I've been simply sitting and watching the wildlife that lives where I do.
'A few precious moments spent watching a stunning Red Admiral or Peacock butterfly feeding amongst the flowers in my garden never fails to bring me great pleasure.
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'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.
'Get out for the Big Butterfly Count, it's good for them and it's good for you
The Big Butterfly Count runs for three weeks and is asking people to spot and record 17 species of common butterflies and two day-flying moths.
It is hoped the count will result in a bumper result for butterfly species such as holly blue, the common whites, red admiral and common blue.
Butterfly Conservation is being supported by mental health charity Mind to champion the benefits of spending time in nature.
To take part and to find out more information visit www.bigbutterflycount.org
People wanting to take part can also download the free Big Butterfly Count app.
BUTTERFLY COUNT EVENTS
As part of the Big Butterfly Count events have been organised in Norfolk and Suffolk.
On Wednesday, July 25 a guided walk is taking place in Pigney's Wood in Knapton from 10.30am until 1pm and then on Thursday, August 2 a butterfly event is taking place near Great Yarmouth from 10.30am at Horsey Gap.
A butterfly walk is also happening at a woodland site in Wreningham, south-east of Wymondham, on Friday, August 10 from 10.30am until 1pm.
Information on all these events can be found at www.butterfly-conservation.org/NorfolkCountevents
In Suffolk tomorrow there is guided walk of the Red Lodge SSSI for butterflies and moths, with a potential to see more than 20 species. Meet at the Millennium Centre in Magnolia Close from 10am.
In Suffolk on Saturday, August 4 there is a butterfly count walk in King's Forest near Thetford between 10.30am and 1.30pm. For full details, including where to meet, call Rob Parker 01284 705476.
Then on August 11 at Carlton Marshes Reserve between 10.30am and 1.00pm there is an event called search for declining wall brown. For information call 01473 736607.