Butterflies are a sure sign of summer.
At the end of July and beginning of August the Butterfly Conservation Trust is asking families to spend 15 minutes looking for butterflies in their gardens, writes Sarah Booker Lewis.
In the UK the butterfly population has fallen, with 76% of native and migrating species in decline.
Sir David Attenborough is calling on the public to help reverse butterfly declines by taking part in the world’s largest butterfly survey.
The Big Butterfly Count encourages people to spot and record 18 species of common butterflies and two day-flying moths during three weeks of high summer.
It is a great way to encourage little ones to look about them and develop their counting ability.
What can we see in the city?
Large Whites are the most common butterflies we see in gardens and parks.
They are particularly fond of allotments where cabbages grow.
Red Admirals are regular visitors to gardens and parks.
Their striking red markings make them easy to spot.
They are quite large, too, so a delight for little people.
Painted Lady butterflies arrive in the summer from North Africa the Middle East and Asia.
They can be quite abundant in flowery gardens in the summer.
Small Tortoiseshell butterflies are similar to the Painted Lady, but native to the British Isles.
With its bright orange wings with black markings it is one of the most commonplace butterflies in the garden.
Peacock butterflies are distinctive with eye like markings on their wings.
They tend to prefer woodland but often stray into urban areas to feed off Buddleia.
For tips on how to help butterflies and to join in the Big Butterfly Count 2017, visit www.bigbutterflycount.orgg.
There are many other butterflies to spot. You may be lucky and see one of the blue varieties, a Common Brown or even an Orange Tip.
Tags: activities for children, brighton, Butterfly counting, counting, early learning, early years, garden, insects, learning from nature, learning to count, outdoor play, preschoolers, summer, toddlers