Count butterflies in a field full of buddleias

Buddlia flowers with three Red Admiral butterflies on them
Red admirals on buddleia

Two of our Dorset Branch members, Peter and Judy Westgate, have set up a buddleia collection covering two-thirds of an acre, which is now becoming well established and is a stunning sight when in full bloom.

The point of the collection is to assess which buddleias butterflies like best, so someone has to go and watch to find out – and this could be you. It’s not too onerous: choose a nice sunny day, take a deckchair and a cold drink and move from bush to bush counting butterflies! There are no special arrangements, just turn up and count.

View across a field with various coloured buddleias in flower.

Field of buddleias

The collection is at Princes Field House, Parsonage Street, Fontmell Magna, SP7 0PB. How to get there: Take the A350 from Shaftesbury to Blandford Road. In Fontmell Magna find the left (south-east side) turning on the bend just south of the crossroads by the ‘Fontmell’ pub, into Parsonage Street. Park carefully on the verge where you can find a space. Walk on up the road until you see the sign for Princes Field and enter over the cattle grid. You will see the Collection on your right. Map Reference: ST 86840/16577.

If you go, please keep dogs on leads and take a pair of secateurs so you can snip off dead heads from the buddleias as you go – it helps to keep the plants in flower for longer.

Send your records in via this website’s recording page, or go to our ‘How to record’ page to find an Excel spreadsheet you can download and fill in, or a PDF document of the casual recording form.

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