READERS' COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS
How surprised and delighted on your two-page article on Wheatfen. Photos were superb, and you had all the right information. (Warden of Wheatfen)
A superbly detailed butterfly guide to the species and to all the best sites in Britain. (Books for Birders)
A truly delightful guide, perfect for sunny days and/or British holidays. (NHBS)
.... blows the gaff on all the best and most accessible places to see butterflies ... (Peter Marren, BBC Wildlife magazine)
It fills a gap, is value-for-money, and rightly deserves a place on my bookshelf ... (Peter Eeles, ukbutterflies.co.uk)
This is the first guide to finding every one of Britain's 58 regular species, with detailed site guides and beautiful photographs.
The perfect winter's read as you look forward to next spring and summer. (Stephen Moss, Guardian, Christmas Books 2006)
.... very helpful. First, it picks out, with maps, 66 places where it is particularly rewarding to look for butterflies ... Then it reverses the procedure,
going through British butterflies one by one with descriptions, and noting the "hotspots" for them. (Derwent May, The Times, Nature, 25.11.06)
I thoroughly recommend this book, which really whets the appetite on a winter's day, ..... (Simon Harrap, Birding World)
I really enjoyed your book and it is often in use. (Robin Page, author of The Great British Butterfly Safari and other books)
It is a book of sheer pleasure - and that is the essence of butterflies. (Sue Swire, Skipton, N Yorks, Dec 2008)
Recommended in the article Butterfly effect (Chris Beardshaw, Daily Mail, 16.6.07)
The current transect scheme for monitoring butterflies mostly covers specialist sites and species, rather than the wider countryside. There are now plans to extend monitoring, with a new scheme which will focus on urban green spaces, farmland and the wider countryside generally. If you would like to take part, please email Dr Katie Cruickshanks at firstname.lastname@example.org. The work is only likely to require 2 or 3 site visits per year.
Site or species specific
Mike Samworth says that Smardale Gill NNR in the Lake District (Grid Ref NY703054, Cumbria Wildlife Trust) is a very good site for Scotch Argus and Northern Brown Argus (and also for red squirrels).
Bob Dunnett has reported that, recently, Glanville Fritillaries have been reintroduced to Somerset at Sand Point (grid ref ST323659) near Weston super Mare. He saw them there about 10 years ago, but has been told that since then they disappeared due to over-grazing. Numbers are still small, with 7 being the best count on any day in 2006. But it will be interesting to search here if you live nearby.
Bob has also mentioned that Small Tortoiseshells have been virtually wiped out in Warwickshire due to attack by a parasite, the Sturmia bella, which was new to Britain in 1998. He collected and reared 40 Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars in 2006, but none survived into adulthood. 24 died without pupating and the rest at the chrysalis stage. Sturmia bellae (which look like houseflies) emerged instead. Also he reared 6 Red Admiral caterpillars of which 4 died from the same cause. More worrying still, Bob reports that this parasite is spreading northwards. Bob's email is email@example.com. Fortunately in East Anglia there does not seem to have been nearly as much of a problem. In the autumn of 2008, more Small Tortoiseshells were seen in some places than for several years.
Peter Marren writes that Prawle Point in Devon is a good place to see migrant butterflies flying in over the sea.
Author's note: I am still looking for good sites in Yorkshire (I apologise that there are none so far except the small site at Shipley) and any suggestions will be very helpful.