Ode to Psyche
Butterflies are an important part of our culture, for various reasons. The Russian Ballerina, Anna Pavlova, said this: When a small child, I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away.
Chalkhill Blue (m)
The Butterfly Conservation website tells us that butterflies are highly sensitive indicators of the health of the environment and play crucial roles in the food chain as well as being pollinators of plants.
- The UK has 58 species of butterflies – 56 resident species of butterflies and two regular migrants – the Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow.
- The State of the UK’s Butterflies 2015 report found that 76% of the UK’s resident and regular migrant butterflies declined in abundance, occurrence or both over the last four decades.
Butterflies conjure up images of sunshine, the warmth and colour of flowery meadows, and summer gardens teaming with life. Sadly, four butterflies became extinct during the last 150 years and three-quarters of British butterflies are in decline.
Habitats have been destroyed on a massive scale, and now patterns of climate and weather are shifting unpredictably in response to pollution of the atmosphere but the disappearance of these beautiful creatures is more serious than just a loss of colour in the countryside.
Conserving butterflies will improve our whole environment for wildlife and enrich the lives of people now and in the future.
Meadow Brown and Ringlet