There are around 60 butterfly species in the UK, and seeing them all is a project in itself. I’ve met two people who have done it all – one couple still happily married having finally achieved it together, and one man now divorced having spent 3 years and £3,000 doing it. So I decided to set myself a more achievable goal, in the hope of staying sane and married and solvent, hopefully all at the same time. I would see every blue butterfly in the UK.
Why Blue? I hear you ask (Spooky, isn’t it, that I can read your mind?).
Largely because they very pretty, and also because I live close to area where you can see many of them.
Well, on 21st July 2018, I did it. My third, slightly desperate visit to Barbury Castle, in Wiltshire, on a robustly windy day yielded the Chalkhill Blue. Now I disapprove of “collecting” nature, as if living things were stamps or steam engines, but I’ll admit that there is a certain contentment (or maybe smugness) in having seen all of something. In my case it’s tinged with sadness, knowing that there’s a good chance my grandchildren will never be able to repeat my feat. At the speed at which many of our butterflies are declining, they may be lucky to see many at all. So feast your eyes on the beautiful blues. While you still can