Steven Cheshire's British Butterflies
British Butterflies: News
British Butterflies News
Latest news from including web site updates, and new features plus information about some of my latest design projects.

For more information about my design services, in particular my services as a book designer and typesetter, please visit my design web site at:
Visit this web site!!
Latest News from around the UK
Latest news from across the UK concerning butterflies, moths, conservation and habitats.
British Butterflies web site makeover
May 2011
Finally... its here, the new web site is online. We have also joined the flock at twitter under the tag @britbut59.

Twitter - britbut59
RSPB Tudeley Woods Postcard RSPB Tudeley Woods Postcard
April 2011
Just finished a simple postcard for the RSPB to promote Tudeley Woods Nature Reserve. The postcard features a photograph of a Nightjar by Andy Hay.

View postcard front.
View postcard back.
Wyre Forest Butterfly PosterSouth Shropshire Butterfly Poster
March 2011

Design and print management for an A2 full colour, double sided poster which includes an identification guide to the butterflies or the South Shropshire.

View front cover panel.
View ID poster design.
October 2010
Commissioned by RSPB to produce an A4 promotional pdf file for a forthcoming RSPB / Woodland Trust event at Broadwater Warren and Hargate Forest.
National Wood White Sites DossierNational Wood White Sites Dossier
October 2010
Commissioned by Butterfly Conservation to produce a full colour A4 site dossier for the Wood White butterfly. My role was to design (based on the 2008 WM Regional Action plan) and print manage the report having been supplied the content by the project team.
South-East Woodlands Project NewsletterSouth-East Woodlands Project Newsletter
April 2010
Commissioned by the South-East Woodlands Project to produce a full colour A4 newsletter for Butterfly Conservation. My role was to design and print manage the newsletter having been supplied the content by the project team.
November 2009
Satyrium was established in order to provide environmental habitat management and wildlife survey services.

Visit this web site!! Find out more at
Wyre Forest Butterfly PosterWyre Forest Butterfly Poster
April 2009

Design and print management for an A2 full colour, double sided poster which includes an identification guide to the butterflies or the Wyre Forest alongside information about the work of the Forestry Commission, Butterfly Conservation and the Back to Orange / Grow with Wyre Project.

View ID poster design.
Web site update for Warwickshire Branch
March 2009

Web site update for Warwickshire BranchAs part of my role on the committee of the Warwickshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation, I have recently completed a redesign and update for their web site. Following the initial launch and success of the first incarnation of the branch web site, it quickly became apparent in 2008 that the site needed a good overhaul.

For approximately 4 months, I spent many an evening working on the site before its launch in February 2009.

Visit this web site!! I hope you like it!!
New Butterfly Garden for Whipsnade Zoo
February 2009

New Butterfly Garden for Whipsnade ZooWhipsnade Zoo is constructing a new butterfly garden for 2009 in association with the Bedfordshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation. British Butterflies supplied the photographs of the Orange-tip and Peacock on their new sign shown below.

During the 1980’s Greg Herbert of Butterfly Conservation Bedfordshire developed the first butterfly garden at Whipsnade Zoo. In 2000, Mike Rudd a horticulturist, continued to maintain he garden until 2003 when Emily Funnell (a former Butterfly Conservation officer in the south-east region) started work at Whipsnade as species conservation officer. During Emily's time, the garden received more attention until her departure in 2006.

David Hicks, the new head of Horticulture at Whipsnade alongside Stuart Pittman from the Bedfordshire branch of Butterfly Conservation have re-invigorated the Whipsnade Zoo Butterfly Garden Project.
West Midlands Regional Action Plan
July 2008

West Midlands Regional Action PlanThe West Midlands Regional Action Plan published in July 2008 provides a snap-shot of the status of butterflies and moths in the West Midlands, Birmingham & Black Country, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Warwickshire.

The report compiled by Jenny Joy (Butterfly Conservation Regional Development Officer) and Mike Williams (West Midlands Butterfly Conservation Committee Member) consisted of over 150 pages in full colour and illustrated with distribution maps and photographs throughout. It was designed, typeset and print managed by Steven Cheshire.

View the report online at:
Rare butterflies show signs of recovery
16 May 2011

New data shows that some of Britain's most threatened butterflies showed encouraging signs of recovery last year.

Butterfly Conservation says that while overall butterfly numbers continue to decline, the indications are that recent conservation efforts have had a positive effect on some of the most threatened species.

Last year's weather also played a vital role in boosting some butterfly species.

The biggest winner of 2010 was the Wood White which bounced back with a six-fold increase over 2009, having suffered a massive 96 per cent decline since the 1970s.

Another winner was the Marsh Fritillary which more than doubled its numbers in 2010 compared with 2009, confirming that its overall trend is now upwards, reversing a serious long-term decline that has been going on since the 1950s.

It is not all good news. The data shows it was the worst year on record for two species. One of the UK's commonest butterflies, the Meadow Brown had its worst ever year, with numbers down by a fifth compared with 2009. One of our rarest butterflies the Lulworth Skipper also had its worst year - its numbers are down a frightening 93 per cent over the last decade. The reasons for these losses are still not fully understood and are the subject of current research.

It was also a bad year for migrants - numbers dropped by 90 per cent and there was no repeat of the Painted Lady immigration, which was a spectacular feature of the 2009 season.

The new data comes from the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, the largest and longest running scheme of its kind anywhere in the world. It is run by Butterfly Conservation and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and involves thousands of volunteers across the UK.

The data shows that three-quarters of threatened butterfly species increased from 2009 levels although most remain in long-term decline.

Over three-quarters of the UK's butterflies have declined over recent decades and almost half are seriously threatened, so the results for threatened species come as welcome news.

Dr Tom Brereton, Head of Monitoring at Butterfly Conservation said:
"Over the last decade, Butterfly Conservation has developed a large number of landscape scale projects with a wide range of statutory and non-statutory partners to improve and restore habitats for threatened butterflies. This has particularly helped the Marsh Fritillary and more recently the Wood White and some other species too are beginning to recover. It shows these projects are working, given time. This is extremely welcome news and shows that we can reverse butterfly losses if the effort can be maintained. There's no doubt that other wildlife is benefitting too."

Dr Marc Botham, Butterfly Ecologist at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said:
"The continued dedication of thousands of volunteers enables us to analyse both short and long-term trends in the abundance of butterflies. Butterflies are highly sensitive to how our countryside is changing and the UKBMS data has revealed how butterflies are already being impacted by climate change as well as whether our conservation measures are working."

Butterflies come out on top by public vote
February 2011

Butterflies have been deemed the most important part of the natural environment in a recent public survey. Anyone with an interest in wildlife was recently invited by DEFRA to help shape the future of England's nature by putting their thoughts forward regarding nature conservation.

A discussion paper was published on 26 July 2010 entitled "An invitation to shape the nature of England" All comments and submissions from anyone with an interest in the natural environment were welcomed.

The discussion closed on 30 October 2010, with over 15,000 responses. One of the questions asked in the consultation was "Which part of the natural environment matter most to you?" Out of the many different types of specific wildlife mentioned, butterflies came out top with many people voting that they were the species they deemed most important. Bees came a close second by public vote.

There are over 58 species of butterfly in the UK but three quarters of British species are in decline. Butterflies and moths have a crucial role as pollinators and provide food for birds and other wildlife. Dwindling populations highlight the failing health of our countryside.

In the build up to the 2010 General Election, a number of organizations called on the next Government to introduce a White Paper on Nature to identify the policy changes needed to restore our natural environment.

A White Paper is usually the first step towards new laws and is a way for Government to lay out and consult on proposed changes to legislation.

In response to this, the Coalition Government will produce a White Paper on the Natural Environment in spring 2011. The survey was used to start the process by inviting the public to share their views on nature.

More information at:

Butterfly in decline across UK finds solace in the Highlands
December 2010
A butterfly that is in serious decline across the UK has been found in abundance in newly discovered colonies in the Scottish Highlands. The Pearl-bordered Fritillary has been found at several Forestry Commission Scotland sites near Contin and Garve, west of Dingwall.

More information at:
Red alert for Britain’s Butterflies
November 2010

A new Red List of British butterflies outlines 23 species which are already extinct here or whose numbers have dropped to such low levels that they are vulnerable to extinction.

The High Brown Fritillary is one of two species rated as Critically Endangered. This species has been the fastest declining of all British butterflies seeing numbers drop by 85 per cent over a 10-year period.

The research confirms that butterflies are not only a highly threatened group in Britain but that they are faring worse than dragonflies, birds and plants. Twenty three species - 37 per cent of all our native butterflies - are considered to be regionally extinct or threatened. This compares to 21 per cent of dragonflies, 29 per cent of birds and 20 per cent of plants. A further 11 butterfly species are classified as ‘near threatened’ in the new Red List, leaving fewer than half (45 per cent) of Britain’s butterflies considered to be safe at present.

The figures are the result of a major re-assessment of the state of British butterfly populations using the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List approach. It is based on data collected by thousands of volunteer recorders coordinated by the charity Butterfly Conservation and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. The results are consistent with previous evidence of butterfly trends and confirm that butterflies are a highly threatened group in Britain.

“The new Red List shows that the number of butterflies in need of our help has increased dramatically in the past 10 years,” says Richard Fox from Butterfly Conservation, who is lead author of the study. “We have already seen conservationists bring the Large Blue butterfly back from extinction but there is so much more we need to do to secure the future for our fastest declining species. They are our heritage.”

Threatened British butterflies defined by the new Red List.

Species Overall assessment
Black-veined White Aporia crataegi Regionally Extinct
Large Copper Lycaena dispar Regionally Extinct
Mazarine Blue Polyommatus semi-argus Regionally Extinct
Large Tortoiseshell Nymphalis polychloros Regionally Extinct
Large Blue Glaucopsyche arion Critically Endangered
High Brown Fritillary Argynnis adippe Critically Endangered
Chequered Skipper Carterocephalus palaemon Endangered
Wood White Leptidea sinapis Endangered
White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album Endangered
Black Hairstreak Satyrium pruni Endangered
Duke of Burgundy Hamearis lucina Endangered
Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria euphrosyne Endangered
Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia Endangered
Heath Fritillary Melitaea athalia Endangered
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages Vulnerable
Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae Vulnerable
Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae Vulnerable
Silver-studded Blue Plebeius argus Vulnerable
Northern Brown Argus Plebeius artaxerxes Vulnerable
White Admiral Limenitis camilla Vulnerable
Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia Vulnerable
Grayling Hipparchia semele Vulnerable
Large Heath Coenonympha tullia Vulnerable

Fox, R., Warren, M.S., Brereton, T.M., Roy, D.B. and Robinson, A.

(2010). A new red list of British butterflies. Insect Conservation and Diversity.

Notes: This is the first time that British butterflies have been classified using new global standards for Red Lists that were agreed in 2001. Compared to the first Red List, published in 1987, the number of butterflies classed as threatened or near threatened in Britain has tripled (from 11 to 34 species).

The new Red List of British butterflies was produced by scientists working for Butterfly Conservation, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Butterflies feel the pinch
October 2010
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has been cut more severely than most other Government Departments in the Comprehensive Spending Review published in October 2010. Defra will have to cut its budget by a staggering 29 per cent over the next four years and Natural England, the main Government delivery body for wildlife is expected to have shed around 800 jobs. Although the true impact of the cuts is hard to gauge at the moment, it will inevitably mean a reduced effort to halt the loss of biodiversity in the UK.