THE results for the Big Butterfly Count have been revealed, showing the highest count of the species in four years.

Charity Butterfly Conservation, based in Lulworth, called for participants across the UK to spend 15 minutes in a location to record butterflies from July 14 to August 6.  

Overall, participants of the Big Butterfly Count enjoyed seeing more butterflies this year than in the previous four summers due to the wetter weather.

In total, almost 95,000 members of the public spent more than two million hours logging over 1.5 million butterflies and day-flying moths.

However, since the count started 13 years ago, butterfly species have significantly decreased.

The locations varied from fields and gardens to schools and parks across the country.

The most-seen species this year was the Red Admiral, with 248,077 recorded.

This is an increase of 338% on last year’s count and the first time the species has taken the top-spot, due to this year's warmer climate.

Gatekeeper was next with 222,896 sightings, a 12% increase on last year, whilst the Whites took third and fourth spot, with 216,666 sightings of Large Whites and 190,506 of Small Whites, an 11% and 15% increase on 2022 respectively.

Holly Blue had another good summer, with numbers up 66% on 2022. 

Species that saw a decline from last year include Ringlet, Common Blue and Speckled Wood, all of which also show long-term declines.

The Dorset branch of Butterfly Conservation has reported 75,494 butterflies from 48 different species so far this year.

Dr Zoe Randle, senior surveys officer at Butterfly Conservation, said: “It’s wonderful that so many people have been out enjoying spotting butterflies.

"We had huge support for the Big Butterfly Count this year, and thanks to the many people who went out during those sunny intervals, we now know that the effects of last year’s drought were not as bad for butterflies as we had feared."

Dr Richard Fox, head of science at Butterfly Conservation, said: “One of the biggest threats butterflies in the UK face is habitat loss.

"While the weather certainly has an impact on numbers from year to year, butterflies, moths and many other species can generally cope with variable weather. What they can’t cope with is habitat destruction.”

Dr Fox said the public can provide habitats to butterfly species by creating wild spaces of long grass in gardens, or by planting a small section of nectar rich plants on a balcony.

He said: “Butterflies need a place to live. If they can feed, breed and shelter, they can thrive.

"By creating a Wild Space in your outdoor area you can help to reverse the massive losses of wildlife-friendly habitat and start to turn around the fortunes of our declining butterflies."

If you would like to report butterflies you have seen in the Dorset area, visit