There are several schemes in place in Dorset for monitoring our butterflies and moths
You can choose which method suit you best: whether you want to just note odd butterflies you see, or go out looking for them on a regular basis.
We welcome all sightings - just please do not send in the same sighting via more than one system.
This is for when you see butterflies anywhere and everywhere in the course of your daily life in Dorset - whether this is in town or country: we need both.
To report your casual sightings to us you can choose between three option, whichever is best for you:
This is the next step on from casual recording. We record butterflies on a five-year cycle and aim to record in as many areas of Dorset as possible. As the five-year cycle goes on, we build up a map of where sightings have been made, and any areas without sightings show up as "white holes" on the map. See the White Holes page for more information. Report any butterflies you find in a White Hole in the same way as the casual recording sightings above.
For your sightings in your garden, there are two ways of recording;
Both methods are fine by us, just please do not duplicate you recording, or we will think you are seeing more butterflies than you really are.
A bit more than recording just in your garden, this asks you to record in the nine kilmetre squares which are centred on your house. If you like the idea but working out the area covered by the squares confuses you, contact Bill Shreeves for help via our Contact Form. To record what you see, use one of the methods for Butterfly Casual Recording, above.
Transect walks are regular walks along pre-defined routes. Dorset is one of the best recorded counties in transect walk terms, but it means we need lots of people to help, all over Dorset.
Target species recording is aimed at those butterflies which are less common, so you are looking for a certain species and will be guided as to where and when you might find it.
If you are interested in becoming involved in either of these types of recording, please contact Bill Shreeves via our Contact Form .
This is a national surve,y run by a broad partnership of organisations, which aims to reach “ordinary” parts of the countryside not covered by transect walks. This is intended to give a more accurate picture as to how butterflies are doing generally, as the transect walks tend to exist to record the rarer species or special habitats.
The WCBS was started in 2009 and runs as a partnership between Butterfly Conservation (BC), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), and supported and steered by Forestry Commission, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, and Scottish Natural Heritage. Participants include recorders from the BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and BC’s volunteer network.
There are set areas within Dorset, to be monitored at least two times a year, in july and August. If you are interested, please contact Adrian Neil via our Contact Form.
There are quite a lot of day-flying moths, and even night-flying ones are sometimes seen in the day, especially if you disturb their resting place. If you are serious about seeing moths, you need a moth trap, which is run overnight to attract the moths so you can identify them and then let them go. You can report your sightings electronically via www.dorsetmothgroup.info.
Living Records and iRecord are ways of recording wildlife sightings that are not Butterfly Conservation systems.
If you are considering whether to record your sightings via the Living Records system or one of the methods listed on this page, the differences are basically:
Our promise to you: