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Saving butterflies, moths and our environment  


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This website provides information on butterflies reported in the Stevenage area since 1993. The reports are based on records submitted by observers for the area encapsulated in the Ordnance Survey grid reference TL22 10km decad which includes villages Walkern and Great Wymondley, for example. I am most indebted to Andrew Wood, the county butterfly recorder, for supplying the records and a big thank you to all the recorders without which this project would have been possible. Records for 1993 and 1994 relate to my transect only covering the southern section of Fairlands Valley Park.

Distribution maps are taken from the MapMate database onto which the TL22 data had been applied. The distribution for most species is represented at 2km level (tetrad) as is standard for county distribution maps. However, for the more local species I felt it more appropriate to represent their distributions down to 1km (monad). About 1% of records are not accurate at the 1km level so these are excluded on the map. In addition, the margin of human error is wider at the 1km level so this should be borne in mind when analysing these maps. Presence of a particular species in either tetrad or monad is depicted by an orange square. For tetrads two additional features are shown. The darker the square, the more records submitted but this does not necessarily mean increased abundance. Squares ringed with blue indicate reports since 2010.

Abundance charts refer to timed or monitored visits only like transects and walks undertaken for the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey otherwise to discern trends would be meaningless. The Big Butterfly Count records are not being counted because the scheme was initiated only in 2010 but references to it are noted for any significant sightings.

I had considered using all data for phenology (flight period) charts but there appears to be a proportionately large number of records for late July and August (the school summer holidays) and of course the Big Butterfly Count scheme takes place during this period. Transect data only is used for preparing phenology charts except for the rarer species where phenology might be better represented for a wider area, for example, the TL22 decad as a whole.

Only species which were reported since 1995 and those seen on the Stevenage transect since 1993 are described. The one exception is the Brown Hairstreak, with unconfirmed reports from Norton Green. Those species, excluding migrants, not believed to hold colonies in the Stevenage area are highlighted in red on the left.

To find out more on species in general refer to the 'Species Accounts' webpage or click on the species you are interested in, on the left.

I must thank Ian Carle, Jenny Oxley, Bob Press and Jo Ward for allowing me to have access to records and collections at the Herts Environmental Records Centre (HERC) at Grebe House, St Albans, Mill Green Museum at Hatfield, Hitchin Museum and Stevenage Museum respectively. I am grateful to Bob Clift for his help and checking my web pages on his Mac.

Photographs on this website were taken by me unless otherwise stated.

If you wish to make comments regarding content on the website or anything else please email me or submit details on the 'Contact' webpage.

Latest news
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9 Dec - Red Admiral larva in Knebworth Park

4 Dec - Red Admiral egg hatched in Knebworth Park

1 Dec - Species accounts updated

24 Nov - Red Admiral eggs in Knebworth Park

18 Nov - Purple Hairstreak egg

8 Nov - More Red Admiral eggs

3 Nov - Red Admiral egg in Knebworth Park

31 Oct - Photos added and replaced

25 Oct - Knebworth Park sightings

16 Oct - Annual transect totals

12 Oct - Small Copper eggs, larvae and adults!

8 Oct - Commas and Coppers still going strong

2 Oct - Small Copper egg

1 Oct - Long-tailed Blue

26 Sep - Speckled Wood

24 Sep - 8 species at Knebworth and Norton Green

19 Sep - Brown Hairstreak at Knebworth Park?

17 Sep - Stevenage transect week 25

14 Sep - Holly Blues

12 Sep - Stevenage transect week 24

9 Sep - Commas and Coppers

6 Sep - The best since 2004

4 Sep - Brown Hairstreak update

2 Sep - Knebworth transects

31 Aug - 'Blue badges' Small Copper

27 Aug - Queens in Sussex

26 Aug - Speckled Wood on the up

25 Aug - Mardley Heath

20 Aug - Brown Hairstreaks at Mardley Heath?

19 Aug - Another Comma pupa

17 Aug - Clouded Yellow

14 Aug - Comma pupa

13 Aug - Dark Green Fritillary

11 Aug - Brown Argus and Small Heath

10 Aug - 'White' Gatekeeper

6 Aug - Knebworth transects week 19

5 Aug - Stevenage transect week 19

4 Aug - Brown Hairstreaks

1 Aug - Peacocks and Brown Argus

31 Jul - Stevenage transect week 18

30 Jul - Very few Peacocks

26 Jul - Brown Argus aberration

25 Jul - Stevenage transect week 17

22 Jul - Silver-washed on knapweed

20 Jul - Gatekeeper now top dog

18 Jul - Already on the wane

13 Jul - White Admiral at Norton Green

11 Jul - Comma larva

8 Jul - 17 species at Knebworth

7 Jul - Chalkhill Blues

4 Jul - Purple Emperor hot-spot?

1 Jul - Second brood Small Coppers

30 Jun - More Purple

29 Jun - Purple Hairstreak on the rise

26 Jun - Another Purple day

24 Jun - Silver-washed

23 Jun - First Purple Hairstreak

21 Jun - Purple Emperors

19 Jun - Early White letters

18 Jun - Century at Stevenage

17 Jun - First century of the year

15 Jun - White letter again

14 Jun - White-letter Hairstreaks

13 Jun - Marbled White and Ringlet

11 Jun - Purple Emperor in Surrey

10 Jun - Brampton Wood

8 Jun - Unusual Common Blue

4 Jun - First Large Skippers

3 Jun - First Meadow Brown

2 Jun - Small Tortoiseshell

1 Jun - Chapelfoot

31 May - Stevenage transect week 9

28 May - Knebworth transects week 9

26 May - Bison Hill

23 May - First Small Heath

21 May - Knebworth transects week 8

20 May - Common Blues now flying

16 May - Holly Blue on Dogwood

14 May - Transects week 7

10 May - Stevenage transect week 6

7 May - Knebworth transects week 6

4 May - First Small Copper

2 May - Stevenage transect week 5

28 Apr - Hexton Chalk Pit

27 Apr - Hoverfly at Whomerley Wood

25 Apr - Orange Tip eggs

22 Apr - Stevenage transect week 4

19 Apr - Dukes in Bedfordshire

18 Apr - More like it!

15 Apr - Rain at last!

12 Apr - Public rights of way at Knebworth Park

11 Apr - Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell eggs

9 Apr - Wonderful weather but ...

8 Apr - Grizzled at Frogmore

6 Apr - 3 Firsts!

5 Apr - My first Orange Tip

4 Apr - Comma egg

3 Apr - Another Large Tortoiseshell in Sussex

28 Mar - Large Tortoiseshell in Sussex

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