Count peacocks and painted ladies as they flutter by Hammersmith and Fulham

Residents are being encouraged to spend time in the borough seeing how many peacocks they can spot.

Residents are being encouraged to spend time in the borough seeing how many peacocks they can spot.

However, you don’t need to be in the grounds of a stately home, for these are peacock butterflies, just one of 20 species charity Butterfly Conversation is asking residents to look out for as part of their 2015 Big Butterfly Count.

The annual nationwide survey, which is reliant on sightings submitted by the public, launched on Friday (17 July) and allows Butterfly Conservation to assess the overall health of our environment.

“Butterflies and moths, like all insects, are great ‘bio-indicators’ which reflect the well-being of our ecosystems,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services.

“We have some wonderful green spaces across the borough, from Furnivall Gardens and Bishops Park, to Wormwood Scrubs, or even just residents’ own back gardens, which are perfect for taking part.”

The results from the count will help Butterfly Conservation to protect butterfly species from extinction, but will also help better understand the overall effects of climate change on wildlife.

To take part, residents should spend 15 minutes, preferably on a bright sunny day, and count as many butterflies and day-flying moths as possible. Sightings could range from the glamourous large species like red admiral and painted lady butterflies, to the quirky large skipper with its characteristic x-wing resting position, or the plain-looking silvery moth.

Identification charts can be downloaded from the Big Butterfly Count website, or you can download an app for your smartphone.

Last year, more than 44,000 people took part, counting almost 560,000 butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK.

The count runs from now until Sunday 9 August.

More information can be found at the Big Butterfly Count website.

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