Jan Miller-Klein: Gardening for butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects: a how-to guide
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Historically, butterflies have been at the centre of insect conservation and although in the last the few decades, this comparatively new science has increased in scale and importance, broadening to include many different insect species, butterflies remain among the most well studied of all fauna, not least in the UK. Being relatively conspicuous on warm sunny days, and easily identified and observed by scientists and public alike, butterflies are frequently more accessible than many less well-known insects, but similarly sensitive to pollution and changes in climate, land use and management. Thus, as well as being pollinators and prey for other animals, butterflies are variously regarded as “flagships” for other insects, good indicators of environmental health and wider biodiversity, and in the UK, as icons of the British countryside which are almost universally included in nature conservation strategies.
One does not have to visit the countryside in order to see butterflies however....