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The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS)

Welcome to the United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS), a merger of the long-running Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (BMS) with Butterfly Conservation's co-ordination of 'independent' transects. The scheme now records data on over 1,000 sites annually and also incorporates the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS). The resulting UKBMS dataset is one of the most important resources for understanding changes in insect populations... [more]

The scheme has monitored changes in the abundance of butterflies throughout the United Kingdom since 1976. Since then, recorders have made around a quarter of a million weekly visits to more than 1,500 separate sites, walking over half a million kilometres and counting over 16.4 million butterflies!

The UKBMS is based on a well-established and enjoyable recording method and has produced important insights into almost all aspects of butterfly ecology.

A new publication, "The State of Butterflies in Britain and Ireland", was launched on May 15th. This book is a follow-up to the hugely successful Butterflies for the New Millenium atlas, and is available to purchase from the publishers, Nature Bureau (price: £14.50 inc. p&p)


Latest News

2013 Annual Report now available online.

NEW Summary of Changes Tables available online now. The tables include trend estimates using a new analytical method, as described in Dennis et al (2013) Methods in Ecology and Evolution 4, 637-645 doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12053, and discussed in the 2012 annual report. For Wider Countryside species, Collated Indices and trends now utilise all UKBMS data including that from the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey.

This year’s National Recorders Meeting will be held at the Birmingham and Midland Institute conference centre on March 22nd. In addition to the latest information on butterfly trends from the national recording and monitoring schemes, there will be a range of interesting presentations from guest speakers covering new research findings and feedback from butterfly recorders across the UK. The full programme is available here. For further details and to book a place please visit:

Online Transect Walker now up and running. Go to Mydata:

The UKBMS operates as a partnership between the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Butterfly Conservation (BC) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) with funding by a multi-agency consortium led by the Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) , and including the Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Natural England (NE), Forestry Commission (FC), and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). In addition, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) are partners in the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) which is incorporated within the UKBMS.