– including 108 Islands on Strangford Lough

Lecale Conservation does publicity annually for the ‘Big Butterfly Count’ as Wildlife Conservation activity that any family can participate in. This is the biggest ‘citizens science’ project in Britain or Ireland and anyone can join in at the big butterfly count website.

It started in 2010 and has rapidly become the world’s biggest surveys. Over 107,000 citizen scientists took part in 2021, submitting 152,039 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths.

It takes just 15 minutes in your garden or when out on fun trips to the beach, park or country.

You can log onto the ‘Big Butterfly Count’ website, print out ID sheets with easy to recognise pictures, and record your results from this Friday until Sunday 7th August. You can also download the ‘App’ to your ‘phone from there.

It is easy to count butterflies and parents can make it an on-line learning experience for their children with the simple picture-led data entry option on the website. it would be great to cover the whole of County Down.

– On Strangford Lough –

Lecale Conservation members Cadogan Enright and his son CadÓg lead the Loch Cuan Canoe Club’s ‘Big Butterfly Count’ on 108 islands on Strangford Lough annually after the nesting season finishes.

See the diagram showing the counts from last year from the Big Butterfly Count website – most of which were done by Lecale and Loch Cuan Canoe Club members.

Strangford Lough is one of our most important wildlife sites, protected as a marine nature reserve, SPA, SAC, Ramsar site, ASSI, AONB etc. The islands are sunken drumlins, a special land feature which County Down is famous for, produced by glaciers. Quite a number of the islands have nesting bird colonies or young seal pups. It is important to know where they are and what time of year to avoid them.

2022 will be our 11th year in a row doing the Big Butterfly Count going around the Lough. It takes between 7 and 10 with friends from the Loch Cuan Canoe Cub . We all clean up litter as we paddle round the lough visiting the islands. It is important to be properly qualified before embarking on a trip like this. And to be familiar with weather conditions, safety and land ownership issues. No one should do this without training.

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