If you want to do your bit to help butterflies, there are things you can do to help make your garden into a better environment for them.
Here are six tips to transform your garden into a butterfly base:
1. Cut back on pesticides
Many pesticides can be harmful to butterflies and other pollinating insects so keep them away from flowering plants if you can.
2. Don’t clear up fallen fruit
If you’ve got a fruit tree in your garden and want to attract more butterflies, resist the temptation to pick up fruit that’s fallen to the ground - or, if you need to clear it, put it on the compost heap.
Some species of butterfly love to feed on rotting apples, pears and berries.
3. Grow butterfly-friendly plants
One sure-fire way to attract adult butterflies is to make sure you have plenty of nectar-rich flowers growing in your garden.
Butterfly favourites include lavender, hyacinth, bluebells, marigolds and many others.
For more advice on what to grow, visit the Royal Horticultural Society’s website for a comprehensive guide.
4. Have plenty of food for caterpillars too
You can’t get butterflies without caterpillars.
Keep them healthy by leaving the edges of your garden to grow a little more wild. They’ll like the long grass.
They also feed on nettles, thistles, ragwort, mixed grasses, holly and ivy.
5. Keep it warm
Mainly spotted during warmer weather, it may seem obvious to say that butterflies like balmier temperatures.
Keep them satisfied by growing their favourite flowers in your garden’s sun traps, or perhaps plant flowers in window boxes to make the most of the sunshine.
6. Give them some shelter
They like the sunshine, but typically butterflies seek shelter during bad weather.
Usually they’ll hide under large leaves, so if you’ve got trees, shrubs or hedgerows, there should be plenty of secluded spots for them to wait out the temperamental weather.