Councillor Naomi Bailie, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is delighted to announce that the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey has randomly selected 2 squares in South Armagh to monitor. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council through the Ring of Gullion AONB and Landscape Partnership Scheme have teamed up with Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland to offer training to monitor these squares. The training will take place on Friday 10th July in Crossmaglen Community Centre at 10.30am. Booking is through the Ring of Gullion website www.ringofgullion.org.
This is the first time that squares have been selected in this area. Adopting a square means setting up survey routes and a minimum of two visits between May and August to count butterflies along two 1km survey lines.
Councillor Naomi Bailie, said “There is growing acknowledgement of the importance of biodiversity in the wider countryside. Butterfly populations are an excellent way to monitor the health of an environment. We are delighted that we are working with Catherine Bertrand, the Senior Regional Officer, for Butterfly Conservation NI. We hope this will be a long term partnership and more squares will be selected in the coming years”.
Butterfly monitoring currently focuses on nature reserves and butterfly-rich places. This has lead to a lack of monitoring in vast areas of the wider countryside. These areas include farmland, plantation woodland, uplands and urban green spaces. The Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, run by Butterfly Conservation and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, has developed a new Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) method to gauge the changing abundance of widespread species in the general countryside.
This training is free and supported by Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland.
If you would like to get involved in the training, book your place through the website www.ringofgullion.org or call into the office in Crossmaglen Community Centre, O’Fiaich Square, Crossmaglen, BT35 9AA Tel:-(028) 3082 8590.
To find out more about the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme visit www.ukbms.org/wcbs.aspx or butterfly-conservation.org/113/wider-countryside-butterfly-survey.html.