Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation
Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch
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Millhopper's Reserve

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Welcome to the Hertfordshire & Middlesex branch of Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation is a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of butterflies and moths

Forthcoming events

Butterfly Conservation are delighted to resume our programme of butterfly walks and moth events. Due to virus safety measures all walks are limited to 6 people and must be pre-booked. Please contact the leader of the event to reserve your place, which will be allocated to those who apply first. All participants on the walk must observe safe distancing precautions. To keep in touch with local butterfly and moth activities including videos follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Just click on the logos to the left to sign up

Latest news and information
IMPORTANT - Please read the latest coronavirus update from Butterfly Conservation here

The results of the Big Butterfly Count 2020 can be found here

See Andrew Wood's latest Question and Answer session at Holland Park here

Read the latest blog from Butterfly Conservation on Malcolm Hull's 'Where have all the Small Tortoiseshells gone'

Listen to Malcolm Hull on Radio Verulam's podcast on the Big Butterfly Count

Attractive 44-page full colour booklet on the butterflies of Heartwood is available for purchase (cash only). Details on the image below. Click to expand


Millhoppers Pasture - the branch's only specialist butterfly reserve - new leaflet published to mark the relaunch of Butterfly Conservations local reserve: open to visitors now all welcome 24/7

David Howdon's virtual events on 27 June have been filmed and can be watched on his Periscope page: Butterfly walk at Horsenden Hill and moths from moth-trap ran nearby the previous night

Many Four-spotted moths reported in Cambridgeshire last week (as of 6 June) so look out for it in grassy places where Field Bindweed is present

Good news for UKBMS recorders - please read the latest from Butterfly Conservation

Some splendid video clips of life-cycles and behaviour of some of our butterflies have been filmed - well worth watching. View the Videos webpage. Enjoy!

Members' Day. To see photos and vote in the photo competition click here and for presentations and members' slides click here.
Photo Competition winners announced - see who won in each category
here. Well done to the winners and thank you to all who took part. Meanwhile you can read our Annual Review and Minutes of last years meeting.

Small Blue project at Greenwood Park - please read latest report (as of April 2020).

Large Tortoiseshell reported in Cambridgeshire on 15 April

Read the latest WCBS newsletter here.

It may now be the transect season and due to the current restrictions why not take part in the Garden Butterfly Survey

2019 UKBMS Results: 2019 was the best year since 1997 for butterflies according to the UKBMS. The results can be found
here. Click here for summary of the changes.

The latest Small Blue report for our branch can be read here

Footage of Malcolm Hull and the hibernating Small Tortoiseshells is available on BBC iPlayer - Winterwatch Friday 31 January (about 15 mins in). Also see Malcolm's article here

Shedding new light on hibernating tactics. See Malcolm Hull's piece in the Guardian on hibernating Small Tortoiseshells

6 species already reported in the first 10 days of January

Minor design changes on website including 'Home' page, e.g. links to external sites now accessible in horizontal menu bar above
Brimstone flying at Berkhamsted Common on 30 December. Latest ever?

17 December - Butterfly Conservation still receiving reports of Large White caterpillars in gardens from the south coast of England - have you seen any in your garden?

Small White seen in Lewisham on 25 November

Two projects on BC website - Big City Butterflies and Brilliant Butterflies

Latest report from the UKBMS for 2018 - please read here

Small Blue project at Greenwood Park - construction completed - please read progress report (latest update 28 Sep). Have a look at the display boards at the park

Second brood White Admirals seen on 22 Sep in Suffolk. Maybe worth having a look in established sites in the next week or two

Results from the year's Big Butterfly Count. Breakdown count for each county including the top 5 butterflies

Long-tailed Blues seen in southern coastal counties between Cornwall and Suffolk - please read Press Release from Butterfly Conservation. One seen in Wanstead, E London on 16 September

Adonis Blue at Therfield Heath and Queen of Spain Fritillary at Patmore Heath on 20 August - significant finds. The Adonis Blue might be found at other 'Chalkhill Blue' sites in our branch area, for example, Hexton Chalk Pit so worth visiting these if you can. It is probable that an unauthorised release of Adonis Blue took place at Therfield Heath so if anyone knows how they might have got there please give Andrew Wood or Malcolm Hull a call - all calls treated in strict confidence

Painted Lady influx this year. For sightings already reported in 2019 go to the Migrant Watch page on the Butterfly Conservation website

Brown Hairstreak reported from Surrey (12 July?), so we should find it in our area very soon. Start looking on hedgerows with plenty of blackthorn and nearby ash/oak trees, preferably near woodland. Contact Andrew Wood for best sites. For species account click here. Several seen on 28 July at the Stafford Open Space in Hillingdon - see sightings page

Advice on controlling infestation of Box Tree caterpillars, please read UPDATED BC note here

The Living Churchyards project aims to encourage wildlife in their churchyards. For more details please read here. A workshop day on 13 July at Potton where Andrew Wood will be present. Booking is required for this event

Reports of Green Hairstreak and Small Blue on unexpected sites this year so continue looking out for them in grassland areas even where there is no Kidney Vetch (for Small Blue)

Can you help record hibernating Small Tortoiseshells? Read Malcolm's article. There is a link to this article in the current newsletter. If you encounter connection problems let us know

Are there any sites in our branch area you have never been to? Check out the map on the sites page. Many new sites have been added. The map itself can be expanded or loaded under a new tab in your browser

Butterflies bounced back in 2018 according to a study by the UKBMS

Large Tortoiseshell reported in Kent and Lincolnshire in last week of March and one seen in central Essex on 1 April. One seen at Incombe Hole, Ivinghoe Beacon on 23 April. At least 600 in the Netherlands this spring - unprecedented, at least in the last 50 years or so and first proof of reproduction since 1995 - see Chris van Swaay's tweet.

At least 85 people attended the branch AGM and members' meeting on 23 March - photos below © John Murray

AGM & branch meeting 23 Mar 2019 May Webber 23 Mar 2019 Butterfly Brothers 23 Mar 2019 Susannah O'Riordan 23 Mar 2019

Third Camberwell Beauty sighting in north London this year - at Muswell Hill on 24 March

Over the next 12 months Butterfly Conservation are launching a 'Moths Matter' campaign to encourage people to become more interested in moths - see the web page here

The Garden Butterfly Survey 2018 Results summary are out. Click here for details

Which butterfly was top in 2018 according to the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey? Find out more in the latest WCBS newsletter

Brown Hairstreak eggs found further north in Middlesex

Help the new team at Millhoppers - work parties will normally be held every first Sunday of the month - next date 5 January
Holly Blue seen in Islington on 23 December- see Katherine Pogson's tweet

More Brown Hairstreak egg finds in Middlesex - see sightings page

A very successful Brown Hairstreak egg-hunting day on 9 Dec - see sightings page

Brown Hairstreak egg-hunting group Hillingdon 9 Dec 18
© John Dobson

Advice on two moth species: for controlling infestation of Box Tree caterpillars, please read BC note here. Health warnings on toxic Oak Processionary Moth caterpillars - please read.

Initial National Lottery support for London-based project Big City Butterflies. Please read more here including a job vacancy

9 Herdwick sheep now at the Millhoppers Reserve

Big Butterfly Count 2018 results - Small Tortoiseshell crashes - details

Brown Hairstreak reported from the Borough of Hillingdon on 2 September - see sightings page and Andrew Middleton's video clips of the butterfly in the area on 6 September

Which butterfly was the most abundant in our gardens in 2017? Find out from Butterfly Conservation's Garden Butterfly Survey

Generally in the UK, it was the warmest May on record. UK maps for climate change anomalies shown here

Chequered Skippers flying at Rockingham Forest. Also see tweet on Back From the Brink

Can you prepare a square metre in your garden to provide a refuge for our butterflies and other insects? Please read Alan Titchmarch's Press Release

Butterfly Conservation report a below average year for butterflies in 2017. See here for details and summary of results

About 80 people turned up at the branch meeting at Welwyn on 24 March. More photos can be found on Facebook


BC branch meeting 24 Mar 2018 - John Murray

BC 50th anniversary cake 24 Mar 2018 - Liz Goodyear

© John Murray © Liz Goodyear

Read about the 50th anniversary Conservation Day at Millhoppers NR here. For Press Release from Butterfly Conservation click here.

Congratulations to Andrew Steele on his Woodlands Trust Award - Acorn Award
Species so far this year
Holly Blue
Small Tortoiseshell
Red Admiral
Large White
Small White
Speckled Wood
Green-veined White
Painted Lady
Grizzled Skipper
Green Hairstreak
Small Copper
Small Blue
Brown Argus
Dingy Skipper
Small Heath
Common Blue
Adonis Blue
Large Skipper
Meadow Brown
White-letter Hairstreak
Dark Green Fritillary
Camberwell Beauty
Silver-washed Fritillary
Marbled White
Small Skipper
White Admiral
Purple Hairstreak
Essex Skipper
Purple Emperor
Chalkhill Blue
Clouded Yellow
Brown Hairstreak

More on sightings page

The Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch has over 1000 members and covers the administrative county of Hertfordshire and the Watsonian Vice-county of Middlesex (VC21).

The London Boroughs included within the Branch area are Barnet, Brent, Camden, City of London, City of Westminster, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Richmond (north of the Thames), Tower Hamlets and the Surrey District Council of Spelthorne.

Download a copy of our 'Welcome to the Hertfordshire & Middlesex Branch of Butterfly Conservation' leaflet for more information

For Branch enquiries please email: elizabethgoodyear@talk21.com; for website enquiries please email peter.clarke4@ntlworld.com

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