By Elaine Patterson, Newbridge Headquarters
Learn about Butterflies Day happens on the 14th March and is the perfect excuse to learn more about the species of butterflies and moths that live in Ireland.
There are some helpful websites that you can use to identify the different species of Irish butterflies: Irish Butterflies, National Biodiversity Data Centre, Butterfly Conservation Ireland and UK Butterflies. Alternatively, you can order a guide book on Irish butterflies from your local bookstore or wait until restrictions permit your local library to reopen and request a guide book then.
This year if you want to, you could start a butterfly garden and keep records of what species visit it. Contrary to what you might think you don’t need a lot of space or an actual garden-you can just have a few containers holding nectar-producing flowers and plants that caterpillars like to eat. However, you will need an area that gets plenty of sun to put your containers in.
Before buying any plants, you’ll need to research the species present in Ireland and what plants they feed on (both as adults and caterpillars), which is where the websites I’ve already mentioned will come in handy. After that you’ll need to plan out your garden: where to put the containers, what species do you want to attract, etc. You could also ask your local garden centre for advice.
The following resources have more information on creating a butterfly garden: