In the late 1990s, butterflies were surveyed annually at Stocker’s Lake but a lack of volunteers resulted in the survey falling by the wayside for many years. However, in 2012, we revived the butterfly survey and now have an enthusiastic and increasingly knowledgeable team who walk the reserve recording butterfly life from April to September.
We walk a circular route of Stocker’s Lake that is divided into 12 sections or transects and identify and count all butterflies seen within a 5 metre radius from ground level up. We score the number of each species seen on a recording sheet as well as recording the time we start and end each survey and the weather conditions. We only walk the route if the weather conditions are favourable, usually over 13C with at least 60% sun, no rain and wind speed below Beaufort Scale 5.
In 2012 the weather was against us as that summer was the wettest for a century! However 2013 was kinder; the long, sunny summer meant that total butterfly numbers were well above 2012 and our results correspond with the national survey carried out by Butterfly Conservation. .