There is an awful lot that you can do yourself (or with your friends and family) for butterflies, moths and the environment. Starting at home, in your community or workplace makes your practice more sustainable in every sense and your projects are more likely to succeed too.
So, what can you do? You can read up on species that you are interested in, undertake a survey of your areas to see what you have, create and improve spaces for wildlife through planting and habitat management and much more. Following are resources, projects and organisations that will help you discover and identify what it is that you can do.
Butterfly Conservation science, factsheets and habitat advice
Science: Conservation action must be based on sound scientific evidence if it is to be effective. Butterfly Conservation undertakes scientific research in collaboration with universities and other organisations around the world in order to provide such evidence. Our aim is always to publish such research in peer-reviewed journals and, where possible, to make these papers accessible to the public without charge.
Factsheets and habitat advice sheets can be used to provide an overview of species ecology, assist with species identification and advise on best practice management for specific species and habitats.
Butterfly Conservation also produces conservation reports and reviews, which can be found in the same area, that give an overview of species trends and summarises some of our conservation work, such as The State of the UK’s Butterflies 2015. There are also archived regional and species action plans which can be used for reference.
Gardens and landscapes
Recording and surveying species is vital in understanding their status but we don’t just leave it there - we also take practical action on-the-ground for species as well as giving advice on gardens to landscapes. Butterfly Conservation manages over 30 nature reserves across the UK as well as partnering with other organisations to deliver practical conservation action on their reserves, grounds etc.
Northern Ireland is beautifully-diverse from east to the west with recognisably-distinctive landscapes. In many instances, these landscapes are fortunate to have Landscape Partnership Scheme bodies celebrating and promoting their natural, built and cultural heritage. Butterfly Conservation is working with these and other partners to help deliver their projects on a local level.
We recommend getting on the mailing list for your local project or group so that you hear about events and opportunities to make a difference, participate and get outdoors!
Reports and Leaflets
The butterflies and moths of Northern Ireland
Local lepidoptera biodiversity action for butterflies and moths
Moths of Northern Ireland
Learn about the Marsh Fritillary
County Checklists of Northern Ireland's Microlepidoptera
- Munching Caterpillars is a great website if you’re looking for ideas to get your children, students or friends interested! Following are just some ideas on the website of what you can do in your space or garden to get going.
- Make your own Moth Trap
- Create a Munch Box for Caterpillars in your Garden
- Create a Butterfly Fuel Station in your Garden
- Butterfly & Moth Life Cycle Chart for Children
- Children’s ID Guide for Moths and their Caterpillars
Polli:nation is a UK-wide project running across a network of 260 schools and a growing number of community groups and individuals, making changes for Pollinators. Each year, participants survey their spaces and learn more about pollinators and what they need, making sure there is plenty of food and shelter.
There is a lot of freely-available information here, giving you access to suggested activities and surveys as well as being able to see what sort of activities some schools have implemented on their grounds. There are curriculum-based activities and identification guides which fit really well with the Eco-Schools programme if your school is engaged with this as well.
Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives is another fantastic website to visit if you’re looking for ideas on how to engage with younger audiences in nature-based activities. There’s lots of great stuff here to get you started… one of our favourites is their sheet on ‘Winter Twig ID’; something that is useful for all ages.
Following are some of the organisations and groups that BCNI work with and that you may be interested in as well:
Drumnaph Community Nature Reserve, Co. Antrim
Glens of Antrim Pollinator Group - find them on FB
Oxford Island Nature Reserve, Craigavon
CEDaR (Centre for Environmental Data and Recording)
DAERA (Dept. Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs)
National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford