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Flutter along to Portmore Lough!

Last modified: 15 July 2015

Butterfly on flower

Image: Andy Hay

On Saturday, 25 July flutter along to Portmore Lough near Aghalee for a Big Butterfly Count!

In the summer months the nature reserve is teeming with beautiful butterflies like green-veined whites, ringlets and peacocks, as well as dragonflies and damselflies, and dozens of different types of moths take to the sky at night.

As well as being delightful to look at, butterflies play an important role in our ecosystems, including providing pollination and natural pest control.

They are also an important element of the food chain and are prey for birds, bats and other insectivorous animals.

Sadly, butterflies are under threat today from environmental change. Their fragility makes them quick to react to change so their struggle to survive is a serious warning about our environment.

The good news is that there are small things we can all do to help give butterflies a home.

Try to plant plenty of different nectar plants that flower throughout spring, summer and autumn, in a sheltered, sunny spot. 

Some adult butterflies hibernate, so provide places for them to hide – like a hedge or ivy on a fence – and you may see early spring butterflies in your garden.

Taking part in citizen science like Big Butterfly Count 2015 is also a great way to help. As well as learning how to identify and record the species you see, this information will help to build up a big picture of how these winged wonders are faring across the UK.

Bookings are now open for the event, which will run from 10.30am to 12.30pm and is priced at £5 for adults/£4 for RSPB members and £2.50/£2 for children (free for under 5s)

Reserve your place by calling 028 9049 1547 or emailing amy.colvin@rspb.org.uk.

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