Naturalis Attenborough speaks on Brexit, says should take a break over it

Lawrence Kim
July 22, 2018

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.

Primarily, the count is created to assess the success of butterfly populations across the United Kingdom, however, it is also hoped the project will improve the mental health of those involved in the count. Research has shown it can help alleviate depression and anxiety.

Sir David Attenborough is backing the campaign which is the set to be the world's biggest butterfly count and the public are asked to try and spot 17 different species of the insect.

Sir David Attenborough gave BBC Breakfast host Naga Munchetty short shrift when she quizzed him about the Queen in an awkward TV interview.

However, fears are mounting that the populations of some species could crash next year as the drought kills of the plants that provide vital food for caterpillars at this crucial time for their development.

Species expected to do particularly well include the holly blue, common white, common blue and red admirals.

David Attenborough promotes big butterfly count for mental health
Big Butterfly Count: Sir David Attenborough Wants You To Help Him Count Insects

"Spending time with nature offers us all precious breathing space away from the stresses and strains of modern life, it enables us to experience joy and wonder, to slow down and to appreciate the wildlife that lives side by side with us".

"That's as maybe, yes", Sir David would only say. Butterfly Conservation has also revealed that butterflies are declining faster in our towns and cities than in the countryside.

"I'm asking people to turn their mind away from the squabbles and problems of what is facing us with Brexit, sit in a quiet place where the sun is shining and see how many butterflies come, and count them".

Unwilling to chat about the boat that's launched and named after him, he simply stated: 'I wanted to talk about the Big Butterfly Count, that's why you invited me here'.

The report blames the dwindling numbers of butterflies on the 'lack of woodland management and loss of open spaces in woods'.

Despite the largest number of people taking part in the survey a year ago the average number of butterflies seen per 15 minute count was the lowest recorded since the survey started.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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