Why should we help the Butterflies?
Butterflies are beautiful and most people stop and smile seeing a butterfly. As well as bringing beauty and joy to us humans they are also an important part of our ecosystem and biodiversity. They are pollinators, and they are also a source of food for birds.
If you like to learn more about butterfly conservation, look at this link https://butterfly-conservation.org/
Jeremy Thomas and Richard Lewington’s book The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland has some amazing information included in it about life cycles and habitat, can be bought from Amazon.
And do join the big butterfly count 20 July to 12 August, fun activity for both big and small people, there is free mobile phone app. https://www.bigbutterflycount.org/
Food and drinks
Butterflies get their nourishment from drinking. They have a long narrow tube in their mouth. They can taste with their feet. They have six legs and they each have sensors on them that can tell just by landing on a flower what it tastes like. They can eat anything that can dissolve in water. They mostly feed on nectar from flowers but also eat tree sap, dung, pollen, or rotting fruit. They are attracted to sodium found in salt and sweat. This is why they sometimes even land on people in Butterfly Parks.
What do caterpillars eat
Black hairstreak caterpillar
Caterpillars eat mostly leaves and other various plants parts. Each species of caterpillar eats only a few kinds of plants or plant parts. That is why finding good host plants to grow in your butterfly garden can be unique to what types of butterflies are native in your area.
Create your own Butterfly Garden
A butterfly garden is created by growing flowers and plants that will attract these colourful and beautiful creatures. Not only will your garden be a delight to look at and enjoy, you will also create a safe habitat for them.
Butterflies like nectar plants like the butterfly bush, purple coneflowers, sage, beauty bush, sunflowers, lilacs, snapdragons, and zinnias. Try staggering the wild flowers with the cultivated plants and also different blooming times.
Keeping groups of the same plants together will make it easier for the butterflies to see than singly planted flowers.
Another way to attract adult butterflies to your yard is to offer places for females to lay their eggs. These are called host plants. Some females are pickier about which host to lay their eggs on than others. You will need to find out what kinds of butterflies are native to your area to know which types of host plants you will need to grow.
Join us every second Saturday in each month 10-12
We meet at Riverside Drive by the footpath to Teddington Lock
We are cutting back encroaching scrub to maintain sheltered open grassland areas and open woodland which are attractive to butterfly’s, and also maintaining some of the small footpaths through the scrub that are in danger of being overgrown. Areas where this is necessary have been identified by local naturalists and the Council’s ecology officer.
Time: 10 – 12.00 (or as long as you can stay)
Children are welcome but need to be accompanied by an adult – please bring their own gloves as we only have adult sized gloves!
If you got gloves, secateurs, saws and gloves please bring them and wear working clothes including strong and water prof footwear.