The Big Butterfly Count – In honour of the Big Butterfly Count (Friday 15th July – Saturday 7th August), leading housebuilder Mulberry Homes is sharing its top tips on how to help the winged insects in your local area.
The Big Butterfly Count is the world’s largest butterfly survey. Organised by the Butterfly Conservation, the event encourages wildlife lovers to spend 15 minutes counting the butterflies and moths they can see. The gathered data then helps butterfly specialists learn about the current population and habits of UK species.
Kerry Jones, Sales, and Marketing Director at Mulberry Homes said: “We hope that sharing these tips will help people to create an environment that butterflies and moths can thrive in.
Protecting and supporting the wildlife that lives amongst where we operate is a huge part of our ethos at Mulberry Homes, and we look forward to continuing this work in the future.”
Choose the right plants
Not all types of plants are equally useful to butterflies. It is important to provide plants that are high in nectar, so butterflies can get the nutrients they need. In summer, some great choices are lavender, buddleia, and perennial wallflower.
Cut out peat-based compost
Many gardeners use peat-based compost, as it is a cheap and highly effective material for growing many different plants. However, the way that it is sourced is harmful to the environment, and butterflies and moths especially. The peat used in the compost is derived from peat bogs, which are rare and fragile environments that are vital to many creatures. Decreasing demand by choosing peat-free alternatives will aid butterflies, as well as the environment.
Pesticides are commonly used in gardens to eliminate certain plant-eating critters, but the poisons can remain active on the plants for months and be lethal to butterflies and moths. A better way to prevent a certain species from overtaking a garden is to make it welcoming to a wide variety of creatures, which will keep each other in check.
Make some mess
A garden that is too neat and tidy is not very welcoming to butterflies and moths. To encourage them to visit, you need some messy areas. Allow a small patch of weeds to grow, let some grassy areas grow long or allow leaves to accumulate under hedges to create a more inviting space.
A log pile is an excellent place for butterflies to rest and hibernate. You can build one by creating a base layer of logs in a damp area, placing sturdy sticks around them to prevent them from rolling away, filling the middle with leaves, and placing more logs on top in a pyramid shape.
To further celebrate the Big Butterfly Count, Mulberry Homes is running a butterfly photography competition, where entrants can be in with a chance of winning a £250 voucher.