Botham, M.; Brereton, T.; Harrower, C.; Middlebrook, I.; Roy, D.B.

United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme: phenology 2019

This dataset provides data on the timing of butterfly flight periods for each UK butterfly species across all monitored sites in the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS). Annual data from over 2,500 sites are presented relating to the timing (first appearance, last appearance, date of peak abundance and mean flight date) and the duration (total number of days, standard deviation around the mean flight date) of the flight period for all UK butterfly species from 1976 to the present year. In addition, this data is divided each year for eleven multi-voltine species to provide separate phenology data for distinct flight periods associated with first and subsequent generations.

Phenology change is a widely used measure of the biological impacts of climate change because of the close relationship between temperature and the timing of biological events. This dataset provides an invaluable tool for assessing the impacts of climate change both spatially and temporally.

The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is organized and funded by Butterfly Conservation (BC), the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The UKBMS is indebted to all volunteers who contribute data to the scheme.
This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council award number NE/R016429/1 as part of the UK-SCAPE programme delivering National Capability.

Publication date: 2020-09-30


Study area
Temporal extent
2019-04-01    to    2019-09-30

Provenance & quality

Phenology data include measurements of the timing and duration of flight periods for each butterfly species at each site in each year it was recorded there. Data on timing include the first day and last day on which a given species was recorded at each site in each year, the day on which the greatest (peak) count of each species was recorded for each site in each year, and the mean flight date (a weighted mean day number) for each species at each site in each year. Data on the duration of flight periods include the standard deviation around the mean flight date and the number of days (range) between the first and last days on which a species was recorded on a given site in each year it was recorded there.

Supplemental information

Correspondence/contact details

Dr. Marc Botham
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford
OX10 8BB


Botham, M.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Brereton, T.
Butterfly Conservation
Harrower, C.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Middlebrook, I.
Butterfly Conservation
Roy, D.B.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Biodiversity Biodiversity Biodiversity UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme UK-SCAPE
Environmental Monitoring Facilities
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/R016429/1
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid
Last updated
04 May 2022 15:21