People simply love butterflies! They are attractive, interesting, ubiquitous and generally easy to identify. As well as being a joy to watch and symbolic of sunny days, butterflies also play an important role as the canaries of our countryside, being sensitive indicator species quick to respond to changes to our environment. Many species have exacting requirements, their caterpillars only feeding on one foodplant, and discrete flight periods when they are on the wing. Butterfly populations are also rarely static making their study more interesting.

Mull is one of the most important areas in the UK for butterflies and moths being a stronghold for several very rare species, particularly Marsh Fritillary but also the day-flying burnet moths, being the only place in the UK where the colourful Slender Scotch Burnet is found and a stronghold for the Transparent Burnet which, in the UK, is confined to around twenty colonies along the west coast of Scotland from Skye to the Mull of Kintyre. This is due to Mull’s mild climate along with its basalt rocks and traditional farming that provides areas of flower-rich habitats in warm micro-climates that are suitable for these beautiful day-flying sun loving insects.

In order to encourage further recording and monitoring of Mull’s butterflies and burnet moths Butterfly Conservation Scotland is hosting a Butterfly and Burnet Moth workshop at Glengorm Castle. The workshop is free and will be informative, informal and fun and no previous skills or knowledge is required.

The day will cover the identification, life-cycle and requirements of many of Mull’s different butterflies, but with an emphasis on the two rare burnets with the aim of promoting these beautiful insects and encourage more recording and monitoring on the island.

Places are limited. For more information and a booking form please contact Tom Prescott of Butterfly Conservation Scotland Tel 01540 661469 or Email tprescott@butterfly-conservation.org

Please bring appropriate clothing and a packed lunch