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Brimstone by Matt Berry

Get out for the count

A confetti of red admirals, peacocks and small tortoiseshells spiralling around buddleia bushes on a hot, sultry afternoon is one of the classic sights of British summertime.

And thankfully, this display is not such an unusual spectacle in our region. In comparison to other parts of the UK, we are relatively blessed with butterflies.

Our dramatic coast, ancient meadows, unspoilt heathland and chalk downs are amongst the richest butterfly habitats in the British Isles.

West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon boast some of our rarest and most spectacular species, from the hyperactive Lulworth skipper, the sapphire flash of the Adonis blue to the chequerboard beauty of the marsh fritillary.

But this summer it is the more widespread and easy to spot species that will be the focus of nature lovers’ attention as the world’s largest butterfly survey — the Big Butterfly Count gets under way across the UK.

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