Welcome to the East Midlands Branch of Butterfly Conservation.

We cover the counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Derbyshire including the Peak District.

Butterfly Conservation is a membership organisation and has people with all sorts of interests and levels of knowledge - those who like looking at butterflies and moths in their garden, those who are fascinated by their life cycle, some who are true experts and want to pass on their knowledge to others and people who feel passionately about wildlife conservation.

The East Midlands Branch welcomes new members with any or all of the above interests. If you would like to find out more about joining Butterfly Conservation please contact our Membership Secretary.

This Sunday...Get your FREE

Ice cream

and meet the East Midlands BC Committee at

Hoe Grange Quarry Open Day

(Longcliffe, Derbyshire – SK222560)

Sunday 3 July
The 4th Open Day for Derbyshire’s first Butterfly Reserve

From 11.00am to 4.00pm.

Members of Butterfly Conservation East Midlands, including Ray Walker (Hon Warden), Derek Brownlee (Hon Assistant Warden) together with Pat and Ken Orpe will be able to show visitors around this restored limestone quarry where already 29 species of butterflies have been recorded including Dark Green Fritillary and the Peak District version of the Brown Argus. It will also be possible to see the work that many volunteers have done to enhance the habitat so as to increase the biodiversity at the site.


Due to possible parking difficulties, final arrangements will be confirmed on the Hoe Grange Quarry webpage nearer the date of the Open Day, details can found at the Hoe Grange Quarry website

Contact: Ken Orpe ken@malaga.plus.com


Derbyshire Conservation Officer

The East Midlands Branch is looking for a new Conservation Officer for Derbyshire.

This is a volunteer role which requires knowledge of what is required to protect and conserve sites and habitats for butterflies and moths. Help is available from the retiring Conservation Officer and other members of the Committee. If you think this rewarding role might be of interest to you, please email Jim Steele at jim_steele@btinernet.com who will be pleased to discuss the role with you. You will also be required to join the East Midlands Branch Committee which requires two meetings (usually in Derbyshire) a year. This is an important role – a Conservation Officer significantly enhances our ability to conserve our butterflies and moths.

Green Hairstreak Species Action Plan.
Green Hairstreak SAP

Just launched (early April 2022). Thanks to Chris Jackson, Emma Gilbert, Melanie Penson and Steve Mathers for all their hard work with this.

Presentations from the 2021 AGM held in March 2022 at Ravenshead.
Grizzled Skippers

An update by Chris Jackson

Clearwing Project

East Midlands Clearwing & Forester Project by Melanie Penson

Notts Butterfly Review 2021 by Steve Mathers

Butterfly Conservation has developed a trial methodology to survey for Purple Hairstreaks
which are under recorded on conventional transects. Even if you don't plan to undertake a transect, this makes interesting reading and gives clues as to when and how you might find these elusive butterflies.

DECIDE and MyDecide

Butterfly Conservation is a partner in a new project with the UK's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

DECIDE aims to encourage targeted recording of those areas where the data available is currently deficient, making the computer models that produce Species Distribution Maps, uncertain.

DECIDE currently focuses on butterflies and moths with maps showing where new records will have most influence on improving species distribution models for these groups. In other words, the maps show where your recording efforts will be most valuable.

Clearwing and Forester Project

Melanie Penson has produced a detailed document on the results to date, with the methodology and objectives in her study of the status of these elusive moths.

Click to Download(48Kb)

AGM and Members Day

Sunday March 20th 2022
2021 AGM Minutes

Thank you to everyone who attended the Branch AGM on Sunday 20th March.

It was a very enjoyable meeting with excellent talks by Chris Jackson (Notts CC) on the Grizzled Skipper Project and Melanie Penson (Notts/Leics Conservation Officer) on the Clearwing and Forester Project. Thank you also to all those members who presented some very interesting pictures, especially to Christine Maughan who did a presentation on Garden Moths and treated us to some more of her excellent photographs.

A very big thank you also, to all those committee members who helped on the day, Gary did a wonderful job in the 'kitchen'. Melanie made £67 on the tombola and Max was brilliant on the projector. I cannot thank those members who helped on the day enough.

Although not present, we had some very good updates from County Recorders and it was a very enjoyable day.

Our thoughts were with Pat Orpe (Derbyshire Assistant Recorder) after her recent fall and Adrian Russell (Leicestershire Moth Recorder) with serious health problem. Also Mick Ball (Derbyshire Moth Recorder) after his recent stay in hospital.

Jane Broomhead

Field Trips are Back!
East Midlands Field Trips 2022
Chequered Skippers can be seen in England for the first time in 45 years

Thanks to the expertise of Butterfly Conservation and international conservation experts, changes in land management techniques from Forestry England, and hard-working volunteers from Butterfly Conservation, the butterfly can be seen in England for the first time since 1976 and is once again successfully breeding in a Northamptonshire forest.

The reintroduction of Chequered Skipper to England was part of the ambitious conservation project, Back from the Brink. Butterflies were collected in Belgium in 2018 and 2019 and released at the Northamptonshire site by experts from Butterfly Conservation, working in partnership with Forestry England who had carried out preparations to the site in order to help provide favourable habitats.

More Information
The Purple Emperor: An Idiosyncratic species with Dennis Dell

A talk delivered to the Yorkshire branch on 17th January 2022,

Identification Guides
Videos by Steve Mathers
Spring 2022 Newsletter just published:
The State of Britain's Larger Moths 2021

Learn more about the state of

Britain's macro moths
Dennis Dell on the spread of
His Imperial Majesty

Dennis Dell, our Purple Emperor champion (HIM), gives tips on how to find this iconic butterfly in an article originally written for the Yorkshire Branch.

Butterfly Conservation and Severn Trent announce a new 3-year conservation project in the Midlands

The project, titled Butterfly Mosaics, will form part of Severn Trent’s Great Big Nature Boost and aims to reverse the declines of specific species of butterfly and moth in the Midlands area. Read More...

Common Blue Larva and Attendant Ant
Common Blue larva with ant attending

The latest brilliant photo from the wonderfully observant (and patient!) team of Nick and Samatha Brownlee.

Photo taken at Rainworth Heath, Nottinghamshire, March 2022.

Adrian Russell

It is with great sadness that we pass on the news of the death of committee member, Adrian Russell after a short illness. Adrian was a former chairman of the East Midlands branch and the Leicestershire moth recorder. He was a passionate moth enthusiast and the branch will suffer without his contribution. Adrian will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.