Devon Branch Butterfly Conservation

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Butterfly Conservation: Company limited by guarantee, registered in England(2206468)

Registered office:  Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP

Charity registered in England & Wales (254397) and in Scotland (SCO39268)

Devon Branch of Butterfly Conservation runs regular summer field trips throughout the county.  There is an annual Members’ Day, incorporating the AGM, with interesting speakers and topics. The branch arranges winter work parties at important county Butterfly sites and Devon branch volunteers attend various shows and conservation related events across Devon.  

Devon branch conservation activities include offering advice to the public and to landowners on conserving and protecting butterflies, managing the Butterfly Conservation reserves at Lydford Gorge and Little Breach and collecting and compiling records of butterflies in Devon. The branch shares close links with Devon Moth Group in support of the interests of all Lepidoptera.





Welcome to the Devon Branch of Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation is a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of butterflies and moths.

Not a member, take advantage of half price membership offer, and click here to join

The Pear20150429 pb frit (1280x960).jpgl-bordered Fritillary is having a good year, at least in Devon, with not only good numbers at the usual sites, but also with specimens appearing at unusual locations.  Does this stem from a good flight period last year, a good summer, a mild winter or the recent unusual warmth? Whatever it is great to see.   More photos..

Photo. Amanda Hunter

Interestingly, the Common Dog-violet, (viola riviniana), seems to be doing extremely well this year too.

Two transect walkers at Aish Tor on Thursday May 7th enjoyed the bonus of watching a female Brimstone dotting her eggs around a mature Alder Buckthorn and then seeing this one actually being laid on the underside of a leaf on a young Alder Buckthorn shoot.

Photo Clive Harris

On May 10th the first full field trip of the summer at Torrington Commons saw a good turn out of enthusiasts, ranging in age from 9 to, well, rather older.  A mixture of sunshine and cloud enabled a most enjoyable walk with a number of butterflies flying, species seen included several Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Brimstone, (M&F), Green-veined White, Orange-tip, (M&F), Small White, Holly Blue, Painted Lady, Speckled Wood and Peacock.  Added interest was provided by numbers of Speckled Yellow moths, several Drinker  larvae and a very large web of Small Tortoiseshell larvae.  It was very interesting to see the excellent and ongoing management work being undertaken by the Commoners.  

On Sunday May 17th Devon Branch members enjoyed a joint event with Dorset Branch on a visit to the downland at Cerne Giant.  Key species seen included Duke of Burgundy, Marsh Fritillary, Grizzled and Dingy Skippers.  See the full report from Paul Butter..


Sat 30th May: Lydford Old Railway Reserve  Details..

Sat 6th June: 11:00 to 13.00 Langaford Farm  Details..

Sat 6th June: Moth trapping at Dunsdon DWT Reserve

Sun 7th June: Dunsdon DWT Reserve  Details.

43 Species of butterfly can regularly be seen in Devon, including the High Brown Fritillary shown



Devon is an excellent county for moths, day-flying and night-flying, common and rare


Management of reserves and important butterfly sites, work parties and recording

First sightings for 2015  

See Latest sightings for info on what has been spotted to date and where

See Archived sightings 2014

Lydford Reserve

Ten Heath Fritillary larvae were spotted on the move at Lydford on the 20th April. Hopefully this augurs well for the adult flight season.

big butterfly count 2014  The results are now available.

Peacock topped the list in England, followed by Gatekeeper and then Small White. For the full results click here

We are always looking for volunteers to help with the  Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey.  If you would like to help please contact Roger Bristow at For more information click here

Please use the menus or the links above to navigate to the pages describing the butterflies to be found in Devon. For butterflies there are photographs and distribution maps for most species.