Transect Walkers help to monitor all the butterflies in selected sites throughout the summer and in 2019 we had seventy seven transects walked in the Somerset & Bristol region. These transects provide information on changes in the abundance and status of butterflies throughout the UK and also helps guide the management of many nature reserves, not only our own but those of the National Trust, the Wildlife Trusts, the Woodland Trust, RSPB and others.
Butterflies are recorded along a fixed route (a transect) on a weekly basis from the beginning of April until the end of September. Transects are typically about 2 to 4 km long, taking between 45 minutes and two hours to walk. They have to be visited between 10.45am and 3.45pm and only when weather conditions are suitable for butterfly activity.
Due to the vagaries of the weather, it is rare in practice to achieve a full set of 26 weekly counts. Even if you have no other commitments and can visit the transect at any time in the week It is best to take on a transect as part of a team of several people. In fact, it may best to begin by helping an existing team, so as to learn the methods and develop the field skills required.
Our Branch Transect Coordinator (Peter Bright) can be contacted by email (click here) if you have any questions or are interested in walking a Transect.
Transect recording forms and resources are available from the UKBMS website.
The data received from our branch Transect Walkers, who monitor sites across Somerset & Bristol is collated by Peter to produce the annual Somerset & Bristol Transcects Report.
The 2020 report is still being prepared.