Broadcaster and natural history expert Sir David Attenborough has warned that butterflies, which were once commonly spotted in UK gardens, are in danger.
The slow spring and cool, wet May and June could pose a risk to common butterflies, Sir David warned.
Cold, wet weather is bad news for butterflies, as conditions reduce their opportunity to feed and mate.
This year’s poor spring and early summer follows last year’s colder than average summer.
Sir David said bad weather had made life difficult for Red Admirals, Small Coppers, Green-veined Whites and Specked Wood butterflies, all of which need a boost of warm weather to thrive.
Sir David said: “During my lifetime I have seen first-hand how the UK’s once plentiful butterflies dwindled and diminished, with some species becoming extinct.
“This is a gloomy outlook but not one that is set in stone. We must make sure these loses are halted and reversed, but in order to achieve this we first need to find out as much information about our butterflies as possible.”
The veteran broadcaster was speaking to urge gardeners to take part in the Big Butterfly Count, which runs until 7 August . Last year, more than 50,000 people took part, counting 600,000 butterflies.
Spend 15 minutes counting butterflies in your garden then go to wwwbigbutterflycount.org to submit your results.