Alternative Recording Methods

Transect Recording

Butterfly transects are a way of measuring changes in the abundance and variety of butterflies present on a site from year to year. This requires a long-term commitment to record butterflies on a weekly basis throughout the six-month period in which butterflies fly in the UK, or if monitoring a single species, the flight period of that species. The data enables us to evaluate changes in butterfly populations and help identify the causes behind those changes.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer transect recorder, please contact our Butterfly Recording Officer.

The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme assesses changes in butterfly abundance across a network of sites, by a combination of weekly 'transect counts' and single visit 'timed' counts.

Site Name Established UK BMS Link
Ashlawn Cutting 2016 (8 years)
Baddesley Spoilheap 2006 (18 years)
Binswood Allotments 2014 (10 years)
Bishops Heaps 1999 (25 years)
Blue Lias Meadows 2016 (8 years)
Brandon Marsh 2012 (12 years)
Brandon Wood 2012 (12 years)
Bubbenhall Meadow 2008 (16 years)
Bubbenhall Wood 2008 (16 years)
Charlecote Gardens 2016 (8 years)
Charlecote Place's and Hill Park 2016 (8 years)
Charlecote West Park 2016 (8 years)
Coombe Abbey Country Park Meadows 2012 (12 years)
Coombe Abbey Country Park Poolside 2012 (12 years)
Coombe Abbey Country Park Woodland 2012 (12 years)
Deans Green 2010 (14 years)
Draycote Water 2011 (13 years)
Drayote Water Treatment 2012 (12 years)
Fenny Compton Tunnels 2013 (11 years)
Fenny Compton Tunnels Copse 2016 (8 years)
Foundry Wood 2017 (7 years)
Hampton Wood 2011 (13 years)
Harbury Spoilbank 2006 (18 years)
Harbury Spoilbank North 2008 (16 years)
Hartshill Hayes 2009 (15 years)
Haseley Gathering Grounds 2016 (8 years)
Haseley Mill 2016 (8 years)
Hay Wood 2017 (7 years)
Hearsall Common 04 2004 (20 years)
Leam Valley Reserve 2006 (18 years)
Long Itchington (SUSTRANS) 2012 (12 years)
Malpass 2017 (7 years)
Newton Cutting 2016 (8 years)
Old Nun Wood 2015 (9 years)
Oversley Wood 2000 (24 years)
RSPB Middleton Lakes 1 2009 (15 years)
RSPB Middleton Lakes 2 2009 (15 years)
Ryton Meadows 1990 (34 years)
Ryton Meadows (Species) 2005 (19 years)
Ryton Meadows Bund (Species) 2008 (16 years)
Ryton Pools Country Park 2011 (13 years)
Ryton Wood and Pool 1990 (34 years)
Ryton Wood and Pool Purple Hairstreak Walk 1990 (34 years)
Ryton Wood (Purple Emperor) 2005 (19 years)
Ryton Wood East 1995 (29 years)
Ryton Wood North 1993 (31 years)
Ryton Wood North Purple Hairstreak Walk 1992 (32 years)
Ryton Wood West 1998 (26 years)
Snitterfield Bushes 1999 (25 years)
Southam Bypass North 2016 (8 years)
Southam Old Quarry 2012 (12 years)
Stockton 2008 (16 years)
Stockton Cutting 2017 (7 years)
Stockton Locks 2016 (8 years)
Sun Rising Natural Burial Ground 2017 (7 years)
Swift Valley Country Park 2013 (11 years)
Tasker's Meadow 2014 (10 years)
Ufton Fields Nature Reserve 2011 (13 years)
Wappenbury Wood 2008 (16 years)
Welches Meadow 2010 (14 years)
Weston and Waverley (Purple Emperor) 2016 (8 years)
Weston and Waverley Woods 2013 (11 years)
Wolvey Meadows 2017 (7 years)
Wolvey Old Cricket Field 2017 (7 years)

Wider Countryside Survey

There is growing acknowledgement of the importance of biodiversity in the wider countryside. The focus on historically rich locations for butterflies has led to a lack of monitoring in vast areas of the wider countryside. These areas include farmland, plantation woodland, uplands and urban green spaces.

The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, run by Butterfly Conservation (BC), the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), developed the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) to measure the changing abundance of widespread species in the general countryside.

With 70% of the UK's land in agricultural use. It is essential that butterflies in these areas are monitored to ensure the health our countryside.

What's involved?
A minimum of two visits to a randomly selected square between May and August counting butterflies along two 1km survey lines running roughly north-south through the square. The survey is co-ordinated by Butterfly Conservation with the help of each branch.

If you would like to take part, please contact Keith Warmington for more information.

Timed Count Monitoring

In addition to the transects, we also carry out Timed Count Monitoring of key species at some sites that are only visited once or twice a year.

Submit your records

Use our online recording system to submit your observations of butterflies and day-flying moths.


Search Sightings Records

To search for records by a particular recorder or location, please use the search fields below.


Annual Report 2018

Our Annual Report includes butterfly and moth survey data collected by hundreds of volunteers and enthusiasts during the previous year. Published spring 2019.