Nature lovers are invited to a butterfly event near Wragby this weekend as part of The Big Butterfly Count.
WILDLIFE expert and TV favourite Sir David Attenborough is urging Teignbridge residents to take part in the world's largest butterfly survey. It was launched in 2010 and has rapidly become the world's biggest survey of butterflies.
The national event, which launches on Friday, invites people all over the country to record how numerous winged species they can spot for the Butterfly Conservation charity.
As the Tory government risks a full-blown crisis over its Brexit disagreements, wildlife broadcaster David Attenborough has called on the public to "turn their mind away" from such "squabbles" and... count butterflies.
The veteran wildlife presenter said that spending time with nature offered "precious breathing space away from the stresses and strains of modern life".
The exercise involves spending 15 minutes counting butterflies and submitting the sightings online.
The UK's butterflies are basking in the best summer conditions for more than a decade, with hot sunny weather enabling widespread species to fly, feed and breed. Butterfly Conservation has also revealed that butterflies are declining faster in our towns and cities than in the countryside.
"So please take part in the Big Butterfly Count this summer, we need to know, now, more than ever before, just what is happening to butterflies in our towns, in our gardens and in our countryside", he appealed.
Described as "taking the pulse" of nature, butterflies are one of the species that react very quickly to change in their environment, making them excellent biodiversity indicators.
The Big Butterfly Count encourages people to spot and record 17 different species of the creatures from their gardens and local beauty spots. "Your records can help us gather vital information that may help protect them in the future", says Sir David.
For example, if you see three Red Admirals together on a bush then record it as 3, but if you only see one at a time then record it as 1 (even if you saw one on several occasions) - this is so that you don't count the same butterfly twice.
The Big Butterfly Count continues until August 6 and spotter charts are available on the Butterfly Conservation website.
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