Butterfly Conservation

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Butterfly Conservation
Logo of Butterfly Conservation
Abbreviation BC
Motto Saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Formation 1968
Legal status Non-profit company
Purpose Improving the environment for butterflies and moths.
  • Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP
Area served
More than 37,000 Join Today
Sir David Attenborough
Chief Executive
Julie Williams
Website www.butterfly-conservation.org

Butterfly Conservation (BC) is the UK wildlife charity dedicated to saving butterflies, moths and our environment. The charity uses its research to provide advice on how to conserve and restore butterfly and moth habitats and it runs projects to protect more than 100 threatened species of Lepidoptera. Butterfly Conservation is also involved in conserving hundreds of sites and reserves for butterflies and moths across the UK.

Butterfly Conservation has more than 37,000 members and 31 volunteer-led Branches across the UK, as well as the European Butterflies Group. The organisation's Head Office is based in East Lulworth, Dorset, with additional offices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. BC can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


The organisation was originally formed in 1968 as the "British Butterfly Conservation Society" by a small group of naturalists and it was registered as a charity on March 7 1968.

Butterfly Conservation is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468). Registered Office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP. Charity registered in England and Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268) VAT No GB 991 2771 89.

Butterfly Conservation operates three of the world’s largest butterfly and moth recording schemes, which together have gathered more than 60 million records.

This includes the world’s largest butterfly survey - the Big Butterfly Count (launched in 2010). The citizen science survey encourages people to spot and record common butterflies and two day-flying moths during three weeks of high summer.

The charity also runs a number of schemes and conservation activities focusing solely on the conservation of moths that people can get involved in.

Butterfly Conservation produces three editions of its membership magazine Butterfly every year. The magazine is distributed to members, institutions, conservation bodies and others interested or involved in the conservation of butterflies, moths and related wildlife. The publication has an estimated readership of 60,000.

BC celebrated its 50th anniversary year in 2018.

Function of the organisation

Butterfly Conservation is the UK charity dedicated to saving butterflies and moths.

Why butterflies and moths matter: Butterflies and moths are important parts of the ecosystem. They are beautiful and inspirational and people enjoy seeing them in their gardens and the countryside. They are sensitive to change and their fortunes help us assess the health of our environment. Two-thirds of butterfly and moth species are in decline. This is a warning that cannot be ignored.

Butterfly Conservation aims to maintain and enhance landscapes for butterflies and moths. The charity provides advice to landowners and managers on how to conserve and restore habitats. BC staff and volunteers work to gather extensive butterfly and moth data and conduct research to provide the scientific evidence that underpins and informs the charity's work.

Butterfly Conservation has an established record of reversing declines and run programmes for more than 100 threatened species of butterflies and moths.


Butterfly Conservation manages over 30 nature reserves.




Organisational structure

Sir David Attenborough has served as President of the charity since 1998.

Chief Executive Role

2017 - present day: Julie Williams

2003 - 2016: Dr Martin Warren

Vice Presidents: Maurice Avent, Nick Baker, John F Burton, Dudley Cheeseman, Sue Collins, The Earl of Cranbrook, David Dennis, Mike Dilger, Clive Farrell, Julian Gibbs, Ian Hardy MVO, David Hanson, Anthony Hoare, Chris Packham, Prof Jeremy Thomas OBE and Alan Titchmarsh MBE.

Prior to his death in 2004, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 10th Earl of Shaftesbury served as a Vice president of the charity.[1]

Chair: Jim Asher

Director of Science: Dr Nigel Bourn

Director of UK Operations: Dr Sam Ellis

Director of Policy & Land Use: Russel Hobson

Director of Development & Engagement: Peter Moore

The organisation has over 30 volunteer-led Branches across the UK, with offices based in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

UK Branch offices

  • Bedfordshire and Northants Branch
  • Cambridgeshire and Essex Branch
  • Cheshire and Wirral Branch
  • Cornwall Branch
  • Cumbria Branch
  • Devon Branch
  • Dorset Branch
  • East Midlands Branch
  • East Scotland Branch
  • Glasgow and South West Scotland Branch
  • Gloucestershire Branch
  • Hampshire & Isle of Wight Branch
  • Hertfordshire and Middlesex Branch
  • Highlands and Islands Branch
  • Kent and South East London Branch
  • Lancashire Branch
  • Lincolnshire Branch
  • Northern Ireland Branch
  • Norfolk Branch
  • North East England Branch
  • North Wales Branch
  • South Wales Branch
  • Somerset and Bristol Branch
  • Suffolk Branch
  • Surrey and South West London Branch
  • Sussex Branch
  • Upper Thames Branch
  • Warwickshire Branch
  • West Midlands Branch
  • Wiltshire Branch
  • Yorkshire Branch

The European Butterflies Group has also been established as a BC volunteer-led Branch, which promotes the study, conservation and enjoyment of butterflies, moths and their habitats in Europe. See also BC Europe.


  1. ^ Earl of Shaftesbury's Obituary

External links

  • Butterfly Conservation
  • Big Butterfly Count
  • Butterfly Conservation Europe
  • UK Butterflies
  • Moths Count
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