Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey

Common Blue by Kate Risely

Common Blue

The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) is the main scheme for monitoring population changes of the UK's common and widespread butterflies. It is important in both assessing the changing status of widespread butterfly species and in providing an indicator of the health of the wider countryside. Data from this scheme feeds into the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS).

The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is organized and funded by Butterfly Conservation, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, British Trust for Ornithology, and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.  The UKBMS is indebted to all volunteers who contribute data to the scheme and we now have data from the WCBS, carried out on BBS squares spanning back to the pilot years of 2007 and 2008.

All BBS volunteers can take part in the WCBS by making extra visits to their square between June and August to count butterflies.

If you would like to get involved, all you need to get started is tell us at bbs [at] bto.org so we can allocated your BBS square for the WCBS and then either download the
instructions (PDF, 186.78 KB)
recording form (PDF, 93.73 KB)
or email bbs [at] bto.org to request a paper pack of forms.

Butterfly Conservation have a new online data entry system for the WCBS. BBS volunteers taking part in the WCBS will need to register on this new system before the 2017 season starts. The old sysrtem is no longer available.

Square allocation for the WCBS on BBS squares and all WCBS data from BBS squares are entered into the UKBMS data entry system. For guidance on how to register your BBS square for the WCBS on the UKBMS website, please email bbs [at] bto.org.


To see the latest results, read the 

Read newsletters for previous years -

  • 2016 (PDF, 5.44 MB)
  • 2015 (PDF, 775.68 KB)
  • 2014 (PDF, 1.04 MB)
  • 2013 (PDF, 511.48 KB)
  • 2012 (PDF, 446.53 KB)
  • 2011 (PDF, 1.46 MB)
  • 2010 (PDF, 382.87 KB)
  • 2009 (PDF, 355.27 KB)


British Trust for Ornithology