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)’s 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.
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 2022) please contact our Branch WCBS Champion.
The map gives you an idea of the grid squares that are currently available.