Butterfly Monitoring

Butterfly monitoring

Essex Wildlife Trust monitors butterflies at sites across Essex as part of the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. This involves walking regular transects along a pre-determined route and recording butterflies as you go. The standardised methods used help us to compare our sites to others in the county and further afield, and provide useful information on invertebrate populations, which are usually a difficult group of species to monitor.

Butterfly monitoring is a relatively gentle introduction to surveying, and has the advantage of being reliant on good weather to get results! We have some established transects already, and are setting up more sites with the help of our volunteers. If you know of a site that you would like to monitor, or want to join a transect near you contact us for details.

In addition to the standard transects we also monitor particular species of interest at some of our sites using structured surveys to get detailed population estimates. For more information on these surveys please contact us. The main species monitored in this way in Essex is the Heath Fritillary, a species confined to four sites in the UK including a network of sites in south Essex.

Please click here for our "Introduction to Butterfly Monitoring" presentation from the Essex Wildlife Trust Volunteer Day


Training Required?        Yes - Provided by Essex Wildlife Trust.

Skills needed?                Some prior knowledge is useful but not essential

Equipment needed?      No - Equipment is provided but a driving license may be useful

Ringlet. Photo: John Turner