When I took the job as gardener at the Priory one of my primary aims was to help sustain the rich wildlife in the gardens and, if possible, to attract even more.
And like most people, I was particularly keen to attract as many butterflies as possible.
Adding certain plants for butterflies to feed on, such as Verbena bonariensis, has certainly had an effect
and introduced me to a new species last August – the Clouded Yellow.
Developing a wild flower meadow too has had a noticeable impact and it can attract gentle clouds of butterflies in summer. I regularly see Common Blues
and Meadow Browns for example (though this one is on Allium christophii).
So when Becky at Butterfly Conservation asked me whether I would help advertise their special membership offer, I was only too happy to agree.
Butterfly Conservation raises awareness of the drastic decline in butterflies and moths, and creates widespread acceptance that action needs to be taken. They have recently published a butterfly report showing that three-quarters of butterflies in the UK have declined and over 45% are threatened. And a similar report on moths shows that numbers of common moths has declined by one-third since 1968 and 71 species are threatened.
They are probably the largest insect conservation organisation in the world, with a growing membership of almost 20,000. Their president is Sir David Attenborough.
As part of their new membership drive they are offering a free gardening book – which isn’t available anywhere else.
In addition, the first 100 people to join during April will receive a packet of free seeds to help attract butterflies and moths (either cornflowers, pot marigolds or phlox – but no choice as to which, I’m afraid) AND, if you join by direct debit, half price membership.
You’ll also receive:
- A welcome pack with membership card, set of collectable postcards and car sticker.
- Essential advice on gardening for butterflies and moths.
- Colourful charts to help you identify butterflies, moths and caterpillars.
- Butterfly magazine three times a year, packed with fascinating features and stunning photos.
- Monthly e-newsletter with the latest news, info and offers.
- Membership of your local branch, with regular newsletters.
- Invitations to local guided walks, talks, conservation action days and social events.
If you would like to join, this is the link (to qualify for the half price membership you’ll need to enter the code GARDEN50 and select direct debit payment)
I’ve joined* as I want to increase my understanding and identification of butterflies and moths, learn how to encourage yet more to the Priory gardens and help aid their conservation.
They certainly do need our help.
* My annual single membership costs just £1.25 per month under the half price offer.
(All of the above photos were taken at the Priory – except the book cover obviously – but for one reason or another haven’t been used before. I think).