Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey

Common Blue by Kate Risely

Common Blue

The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey is the main scheme for monitoring population changes of the UK's common and widespread butterflies. It is important in both assessing the changing status of widespread butterfly species and in providing an indicator of the health of the wider countryside.

The survey is a partnership project run jointly by Butterfly Conservation, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH). We now have data from the WCBS, carried out on BBS squares spanning back to the pilot years of 2007 and 2008.

All BBS volunteers can take part in the survey by making extra visits to their square between June and August to count butterflies.

If you would like to get involved, all you need to get started is tell us at bbs [at] bto.org so we can allocated your BBS square for the WCBS and then either download the
instructions (PDF, 186.78 KB)
recording form (PDF, 93.73 KB)
or email bbs [at] bto.org to request a paper pack of forms.

Butterfly Conservation have a new online data entry system for the WCBS. BBS volunteers taking part in the WCBS will need to register on this new system before the 2017 season starts. The old sysrtem is no longer available.

Full guidance on how to register to enter data on this system are now available below:

To see the latest results, read the 

Read newsletters for previous years -

  • 2016 (PDF, 5.44 MB)
  • 2015 (PDF, 775.68 KB)
  • 2014 (PDF, 1.04 MB)
  • 2013 (PDF, 511.48 KB)
  • 2012 (PDF, 446.53 KB)
  • 2011 (PDF, 1.46 MB)
  • 2010 (PDF, 382.87 KB)
  • 2009 (PDF, 355.27 KB)
British Trust for Ornithology
Butterfly Conservation
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology