Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS)

The WCBS was established in 2009 to improve data on the national population status of widespread butterflies across the countryside as a whole.

Surveying the Wider Countryside is important given that most site-based monitoring is biased towards good quality semi-natural habitat relatively rich in butterflies. The WCBS is based on the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Breeding Bird Survey (the ‘BBS’), counting along two parallel 1km long transects subdivided into 10 sections, located within randomly selected 1km squares throughout the UK.

Two visits per year 

Unlike for the standard Butterfly Monitoring Scheme transects, only 2 to 4 visits are required for WCBS squares with a minimum of 2 visits in July/August and other visits, particularly earlier in the year for spring species such as Orange-tip and the first broods of bi/multi-voltine species, encouraged.


Squares available

The survey is co-ordinated centrally by Butterfly Conservation but with the help of a WCBS Champion in each Branch.  Many thanks to everyone who is currently surveying a square in our region. 

With your help, we aim to resurvey all the squares covered the previous year and more.  If you would like further information about the WCBS survey or would like to take on one of the available squares in Somerset or Bristol (for summer 2023) please contact Andy Danford, our Branch WCBS Champion (click on button below).

The map gives you an idea of the grid squares that are currently available (all our nominated WCBS squares in Bristol are currently allocated).  Andy will be able to give you more information about the actual square.

(Map updated January 2023)

Map data from OpenStreetMap: openstreetmap.org/copyright 


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