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The Big Sussex Butterfly Count

12 July 2012 | Posted in Digital , Insects , Wildlife Events

Two teams will scour the county from the back of a Land Rover for The Big Sussex Butterfly Count armed only with their wits and a butterfly net to see who can count the most species on Friday 13 July.

The Purple Emperor team, led by TV naturalist and presenter Nick Baker, will tour West Sussex while the Silver-spotted Skippers, led by Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Tony Whitbread, will cover East Sussex.

See all the action live here on the Teams' embedded twitter feeds or follow #butterflyhunt

View The Big Sussex Butterfly Hunt in pictures

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Butterfly Conservation Vice President Nick Baker said:

"Sussex is a fantastic county for butterflies and I can't wait for this year's Big Sussex Butterfly Count. It's the kind of spirited madness that somehow touches the inner kid, spiriting me back to my childhood butterflying days. On a more selfish note, hopefully the Count will let me see many of the chalkland species I don't normally get to see living on Dartmoor!”

Dr Tony Whitbread, Chief Executive of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, said:

“Apart from being such beautiful creatures, an abundance of butterflies also tells us how well we are looking after our natural world - good for butterflies, good for nature and good for us."

Sussex butterfly hotspots such as Ashdown Forest, Botany Bay and Cissbury Ring will be searched and the teams are hoping to spot county specialities such as the rare silver-spotted skipper and arguably the UK’s most dramatic species - the purple emperor.

The winning team will be crowned at the Butterfly Haven at Brighton’s Dorothy Stringer School.

The Big Sussex Butterfly Count takes place on Friday, July 13th and supports The Big Butterfly Count, Butterfly Conservation’s campaign to encourage the public to count common species. It is feared that this summer’s wet weather may have caused a poor butterfly breeding season which could lead to population crashes later this year or next spring.

Results from The Big Butterfly Count will help shed light onto how species have fared following several exceptionally damp months.

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