London Natural History Society The place for wildlife in London

London Natural History Society - The place for wildlife in London


Butterflies of London Project, November 2016

Welcome! Thank you to everyone and to those organisations who are contributing records. Welcome if you are new.

The spring and summer of 2016 had some frustrating weather both for butterfly recording and for some species of butterfly. Nevertheless the project is now collating the records, progressing to the next steps of the project and looking at where there are gaps in coverage.

The London butterfly project

The London Natural History Society (LNHS) project aims to map the distribution of butterfly species in Greater London, updating ‘The Butterflies of the London Area’ of 1980-86. Much has changed since to butterflies in London; much has changed on the recording scene; while London itself has changed and is continuing to change. And the survey information will improve knowledge to help the conservation of butterflies, habitats and other wildlife in London. The project is primarily concerned with the Greater London area – that of the 32 London Boroughs and the City of London. The aim is to map to the 1km x 1km (monad) level, or to the tetrad (2km x 2km) level. The project is using records from 2015, with much surveying during 2016 – and may continue into 2017. As this is a ‘dots-on-the-map’ survey, records are needed from suburban and urban areas, gardens, streets and as seen during commuting; and from green spaces.

Flow of butterfly records and butterfly transect records

The project is keen to know how surveying progressed during the year. If you send or are sending records to particular surveys, or via Apps, to Butterfly Conservation branches, or to GIGL (Greenspace Information for Greater London), please let the project know as that will help with identifying coverage and with mapping of records.

Butterfly Transects

Data from the monitored butterfly transects is also being collated for the annual indices of population changes. Transect records contribute to the national UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS) indices, to the country indices managed by the branches of Butterfly Conservation, while there is also an index for Greater London collated by the London Natural History Society.

Additionally, the transect records can also contribute spatial / geographic records to recording schemes, since each section of the transect routes have their own grid reference. If you are entering data online at the UKBMS site, you can create an Excel of all records. That can then also be used by the London project. The simple steps to do that are highlighted in the following box.

How to create an Excel file of your site records in the UK BMS site:

Log in to your transect site/s within UKBMS online. For any one transect site and year: Select ‘Annual Summary’ Select ‘Downloads’ Click on / select the ‘Section Level’ download For the ‘Save as type’ option choose ‘Save as Excel 93-2003 Worksheet’ or another appropriate option. Save Open/Save it to your own Documents or system.

Next stages

While records are being collated during the next few months, the project will also continue to collate any new records of butterflies flying or of young stages during the autumn and winter. Gaps in coverage will be identified – both of particular areas of London and also of species that may have been missed. For example, the Orange Tip has only a short flight period and is probably more widespread than the records suggest.

Hertfordshire and Middlesex atlas

Hertfordshire and Middlesex Butterfly Conservation, and the Hertfordshire Natural History Society have produced a new atlas of butterflies. Details are available on the website of the Hertfordshire Natural History Society. There are three book launch events, two in Hertfordshire; and one in north London / Middlesex. The Middlesex event is on Wednesday 30 November at 7.15pm at Burgh House and Hampstead Museum, New End Square, London NW3 1LT7. Andrew Wood will be giving a short, introductory talk about the new book and signing copies. The event will include a glass of wine or soft drink at this Queen Anne period house.

Leslie Williams Recorder: Lepidoptera (butterflies), London Natural History Society Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.