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The European Butterflies Group was established in 2006 by Butterfly Conservation members as a new Branch to promote the enjoyment, conservation and study, of butterflies, moths and their habitats in Europe.

European Butterflies Group is open to all members of Butterfly Conservation for an additional branch membership costing £10. To join, please download the application form and return to Butterfly Conservation.  If you are a non-UK resident member of BC, you will automatically receive European Butterflies Group membership in place of a UK branch, and so need not pay an additional subscription. Members receive the biannual newsletter by email.

Find out more

Lesser Purple Emperor - Tamás Nestor


The European Butterflies Group newsletter is produced twice a year and emailed to members. The newsletters contain a wealth of information of where to see butterflies in Europe.

The group works closely with Butterfly Conservation Europe to plan surveys of threatened species. Over the last decade approximately 50 such surveys have been undertaken in nearly 20 countries targeting some of Europe's most threatened species such as Danube Clouded Yellow Colias myrmidone, Dils' Grayling Pseudochazara orestes and Spanish Greenish Black-tip Euchloe bazae.  Details of forthcoming trips and trip reports can be found in the newsletters.

Pale Clouded Yellow - Tamás Nestor

European Country pages

Several European countries are listed on the website and include a detailed downloadable pdf on Butterflies of that country usually with an extensive bibliography, details of where to go and what to see. For many of the countries there is also a downloadable spreadsheet containing a country list, and recording sheet, details of who to send records to and a facility for entering records.

High Brown [pair in cop], Aish Tor, 24.6.21 (Kev & Jackie Solman)

European Butterfly Recording

To conserve butterflies effectively we need to have good information on species distribution and trends in abundance.

The European Butterflies Group therefore encourages members to contribute to the recording and monitoring of European Butterflies.

Details of the various recording and monitoring schemes can be found on our website.

Short-tailed blue (upperwing) - Tamás Nestor

EBG News

The European Marsh Award 2022 goes to Professor Josef Settele. See here.

The 2021 AGM was held held on Saturday 19th March 2022 by Zoom Video conference and is available to see on BC's YouTube channel. The video includes a presentation by Sam Ellis, Chair of Butterfly Conservation Europe entitled "Promoting International Conservation Action". See here.

The European Butterflies Group 2023 Calendar is available to purchase, £8 each or £15 for two, plus postage from: sales@european-butterflies.org.uk

Several European Butterflies Group guides are now available on the website, a complete, comprehensive Identification Guide to the European Fritillaries (published Dec 2020) and the Identification Guide to the Pyrgus Group of Grizzled Skippers in Europe (published April 2021). These can be downloaded as a free resource here.

Southern Festoon - Tamás Nestor

Free guides and help to identify European butterfly species

To help improve identification skills, European Butterflies Group has produced free identification guides for difficult species groups. These are now available to download in PDF for European Grizzled Skippers, Brimstones, Whites and Fritillaries.

You can also download a checklist of European butterfly species here: Checklist 31 December 2018.

European Butterflies Group provides an identification service where you can send us your photographs of European butterflies you are having difficulty identifying, see here for more information.

Purple-shot copper - Tamás Nestor

Butterfly watching holidays in Europe

A growing number of wildlife tour companies offer specialised butterfly watching holidays in Europe. Such tours provide training in identification for participants and can provide valuable records, so European Butterflies Group annually summarises the timing and destinations of European Butterfly Tours. 

Some companies support Butterfly Conservation by donating a proportion of the income or profits from their butterfly watching holidays.

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Butterfly Conservation relies on the support of thousands of volunteers, and we are always looking for more help inside the office and out in the field. Whether you want to volunteer at a local branch, get outside and help manage our nature reserves, or help with one of our events, we have something for everyone to get involved in! Your time can make a real difference.

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Contact branch

  • Mike Prentice - Chair
  • Simon Spencer -  Secretary
  • Nigel Peace - Newsletter Editor
  • David Moore - Treasurer
  • Dudley Cheesman
  • Martin Davies
  • Mike Williams
  • Nick Greatorex-Davies
  • Bernard Watts
  • Roger Gibbons
  • Marian Thomas
  • Dave Plowman
  • Sam Ellis 
  • Anne Spencer - Membership Secretary