Prestwood Nature The Local Environment Group for the Prestwood Area

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Butterfly Transect

For details of the minor species and week by week breakdown of the counts,  follow the links below:     

Results of Butterfly Transect 2018

Results of Butterfly Transect 2017

Results of Butterfly Transect 2016

Results of Butterfly Transect 2015

Results of Butterfly Transect 2014

Results of Butterfly Transect 2013

Results of Butterfly Transect 2012

Results of Butterfly Transect 2011

Results of Butterfly Transect 2010

Results of Butterfly Transect 2009

Results of Butterfly Transect 2008

Results of Butterfly Transect 2007

Results of Butterfly Transect 2006


The Butterfly Transect is a fixed route about 3 miles long which is walked each week from April to September by a team of volunteers who identify and count all the butterflies they see.  They are looking for 33 different species; not all are observed every year and others are only found on a few occasions.  

The Butterfly Transect was first started in 2006.  The results are submitted to and form part of the United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS).   Butterflies are uniquely placed amongst British terrestrial insects and other invertebrate groups to act as indicators of the state of the environment.  Our continued involvement with UKBMS is of great importance. The chart below shows the total numbers of butterflies counted each year.  2006 was a very hot summer which has set a record which has not yet been beaten.

John Obee has written a detailed description of the route which you can read by clicking here.  

In 2018 the total of individuals seen flying was 2617, the fourth best year since recording began in 2006.  Spring was exceptionally wet and so very few butterflies were observed during April.  In May,  the Whites and Orange-tip predominated.

June, July and August were hot and dry which favoured the Meadow Brown and Ringlet.   The latter were seen in much larger numbers than previous years and became the second most numerous species.

A highlight for us was spotting the Purple Emperor - a butterfly we had not seen on our transect before.




25 different species of butterflies were seen but, of these, 8 species accounted for 93% of the total  These are shown in the chart on the right.

Roll the mouse pointer over the charts to see the full-size versions of them.  Move the mouse away to hide the larger version.

Below is a photo gallery showing the major species of butterflies found on our transect. Click on the thumbnail pictures to see individual butterflies or press thebutton to run a slide show.

To the right are links showing detailed reports for each year.

Purple Emperor