Students at Undershaw set a wonderful example by getting outdoors and recording their findings at the start of The Big Butterfly Count 2022. Tim, our Outdoor Learning leader, and Tracy, one of our Pastoral Teaching Assistants, led a group of students on a tour of Undershaw’s idyllic grounds to see what wildlife they could spot. Our campus lends itself to spending quality time in nature but it came as such a delight that this time our outing into the wilds had an extra benefit. This event marked the first day of the Big Butterfly Count, a UK-wide survey run by wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation, who are urging the whole nation to help Britain’s butterflies by taking part in the Count.
Butterfly Conservation revealed in May that half of Britain’s remaining butterfly species are now on the Red List and threatened or near threatened with extinction. As butterflies and moths are an important indicator of the health of our environment, a reduction in their numbers is a cause for serious concern.
The Big Butterfly Count is open to everyone, of any age, living in towns, cities or the countryside and is running from 15th July to 7th August across the UK. The campaign is co-sponsored by the DFN Foundation, which is a long-standing partner of Undershaw school, and is supported by celebrities such as Sir David Attenborough (President of Butterfly Conservation), Chris Packham, Joanna Lumley and Alan Titchmarsh.
Undershaw sits at the heart of the DFN Charitable Foundation’s vision for a fairer society for SEND students, both in education and in their independent lives beyond. We are delighted to help spread the news about the other charities supported by the Foundation and always look forward to The Big Butterfly Count.
Dr Zoe Randle, Senior Surveys Officer at Butterfly Conservation said: “It is wonderful to see the students at Undershaw take part in the Big Butterfly Count this year. The Big butterfly Count is the largest natural history citizen science project involving insects in the world and provides us with a valuable snapshot of what is happening for butterflies across the whole of the UK. It can act as an early-warning system, letting us know how various environmental changes are impacting insects, and allows us to gather vital data from places that would otherwise be totally unrecorded.”
”Our school is incredibly fortunate to work with the DFN Charitable Foundation and the vital work it supports through Butterfly Conservation. The charity’s vision mirrors Undershaw’s philosophy on nature and highlights our role in protecting, preserving, and encouraging populations of native wildlife within our natural spaces. ‘Nature, the Outdoors, Animals and Health’ is one of the faculties within our curriculum here. All of us, staff and students alike, benefit from spending time in nature. We have a responsibility to our natural world and our students are always delighted to act as guardians for future generations. They urge everyone, no matter where you live, to get outside and get involved, just as they have done this morning as part of the Big Butterfly Count. Conservation is alive and well at Undershaw!Emma WestHeadteacher
”The DFN Foundation is delighted to once more be the official co-sponsor of this great event and support the Butterfly Conservation in their vital work helping us protect butterflies from extinction. As we enjoy summer, I encourage everyone around the country to take part and use this as an opportunity to connect with nature in an easy and fun way. Not only will it benefit the health and wellbeing of all who take part, no matter their age, but also help save species of butterfly that are crucial to our environment and ecosystem.David Forbes Nixon OBEChairman of the DFN Foundation
The DFN Foundation is a commissioning charity established in 2014 to make a positive difference to the lives of young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Today, its reach has grown to influencing policy and funding developments in special needs education, employability, healthcare and conservation. The DFN Foundation is a long-serving partner of Undershaw and also a proud co-sponsor of the Big Butterfly Count 2022. For more information, please go to www.dfnfoundation.org
Butterfly Conservation is a UK charity dedicated to saving butterflies, moths, and our environment. Our research provides advice on how to conserve and restore habitats. Butterfly Conservation runs projects to protect more than 100 threatened species and are involved in conserving hundreds of sites and reserves. www.butterfly-conservation.org @savebutterflies
The Big Butterfly Count is a UK-wide survey, run by Butterfly Conservation, aimed at helping assess the health of our environment simply by counting the amount and type of butterflies (and some day-flying moths) we see. It’s so easy to do and is a fantastic activity for people from 3 to 103 years. All you have to do is spend 15 minutes in an outdoor space during sunny conditions and count the types and number of butterflies you see. To find out more go to www.bigbutterflycount.org.