Sir David Attenborough asks Suffolk to get involved in Big Butterfly Count survey

Sir David Attenborough launches the Big Butterfly Count Picture: HELEN ATKINSON

Sir David Attenborough launches the Big Butterfly Count Picture: HELEN ATKINSON - Credit: Helen Atkinson

Watching butterflies is good for you – that is the message from Sir David Attenborough as he urges people in Suffolk to get involved in this year's Big Butterfly Count.

A marbled white butterfly Picture:ROB BLANKEN

A marbled white butterfly Picture:ROB BLANKEN - Credit: Archant

Sir David is president of Butterfly Conservation, the group which is leading the count for the next few weeks.

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

Sir David said: 'I have been privileged to have witnessed some truly breathtaking 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.'

The Big Butterfly Count starts this week and is the world's largest butterfly survey. People in Suffolk are being encouraged to spot and record 17 species of common butterflies and two types of day-flying moths until August 12.

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As well as recording butterflies in their own gardens, a number of butterfly events are being hosted across the county.

Two guided walks, one at Red Lodge and one at Elmswell, will both be taking place on July 21 from 10.30am to 1pm and 11am until 12.30pm respectively.

Other butterfly events will be taking place in West Stow on August 1 and Wordwell on August 4, as well as near Lowestoft on August 11.

You can search for declining Wall Brown at Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Carlton Marshes Reserve – a major stronghold for the species in Suffolk – at the event between 10.30am and 1pm on August 11. This event is led by Peter Maddison and Robert Quadling.

'So please take part in the Big Butterfly Count this summer,' said Sir David. 'We need to know now more than ever before just what is happening to butterflies in our towns, in our gardens and in our countryside. Your records can help us gather vital information that may help protect them in the future.'

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