Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
The Butterflies of Sussex

The Butterflies of Sussex

The Butterflies of Sussex; A Twenty-First Century Atlas is the first publication in over twenty years to identify the region's key species and the best places to see them, including tips on searching out exotic visitors like the Long-tailed Blue or Continental Swallowtail.

The atlas has been produced by the Sussex Branch of wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation (BC) and includes stunning photos of 53 species that have appeared in the county in recent years.

Sussex is home to the Duke of Burgundy - one of the rarest butterflies in the UK and now enthusiasts have access to tips on where to see this butterfly and information on the local conservation projects taking place to protect the 'Duke'.

The atlas describes how by the mid 80's this butterfly had completely disappeared from the east of the county and in 2003 just eight were recorded across the whole of Sussex.

Today, during a good season, more than 1,000 'Dukes' can be seen from late April to mid-June and sightings are reported from the South Downs between Harting and Storrington.

BC's Project Officer Neil Hulme co-authored the book with Michael Blencowe, the Vice Chair of BC's Sussex Branch. Neil said: "The Duke in Sussex really is a conservation success story, so it was important that this butterfly atlas not only offered people a chance to see the butterfly for themselves, but provided the background into all the volunteer hours spent on saving this species for future generations to enjoy.

"The Duke of Burgundy continues to spread across the county colonising new sites - so please take a look at this book to find out where you can see them. The atlas has been nearly ten years in the making, so I want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved."

The Butterflies of Sussex; A Twenty-First Century Atlas, was officially launched in Brighton on Thursday 25 May at the Booth Museum of Natural History.

Full of fascinating historical, geographical and meteorological detail, the atlas provides thorough context for the region as a butterfly hotspot.

Maps to show the distribution of each species are provided, along with information on the best time of year and key sites to find them.

All profits from the sale of the atlas will go back into conservation work to save Sussex's butterflies and their habitats.

Order your copy here

"The Butterflies of Sussex" - readers comments

Thank you very much for my pre-order copy of your fantastic atlas. As other comments have indicated the level of professionalism and detail here is a real credit to all those involved. I must applaud the writing skills of the authors for they have achieved that most difficult feat of making a work of reference inspiring and thought provoking as well as educational. The book has invoked memories of my early childhood spent on the Eastbourne downs in the mid 1970s chasing Adonis and Chalkhill Blues. Experiences that have inspired a lifetime's interest in natural history and butterflies. Now years later I have been able to return to Eastbourne with my own children and thanks to yourselves was able to find and show them the Pearl Bordered Fritillaries in Abbots wood. This book perfectly captures the magic and excitement of your county and the astonishing butterfly diversity you enjoy. It is also a timely and cautionary account of the decline of many once common species and the importance of preserving and maintaining what is left. I sincerely hope that this atlas will be seen in years to come as a record of the turning point in your efforts to preserve biodiversity as well as an inspiration to others to get out, discover and come to value our natural heritage.

Dr Jon Hogg


David Cook

Michael, Neil and all your supporters have produced a really wonderful book !!! I am sure you will have set the standard for many more Branch Atlases. Many thanks indeed.

Chris Cobb

Just received my Butterflies of Sussex book. It is stunning. Michael and Neil have done an absolutely fantastic job.

Paul Ingate

I have been looking through my copy of The Butterflies of Sussex which arrived on Monday. I would like to congratulate you on a wonderful piece of work. I have seen a number of county butterfly books. This seems to me unquestionably the finest.

John Kerby

It's an absolute triumph!

Vince Massimmo

An incredibly brilliant book - one which I will turn to time and time again.

Peter, Hertfordshire

Mine arrived today - absolutely fantastic with some of the best butterfly photography I have ever seen - only a quick flick through but I know this is going to be a book I come back to time and again - a triumph!

Mark Tutton

Just received my copy of 'The Butterflies of Sussex' and just loving it! I have just come out of hospital after an operation and needed cheering up and this wonderful tome was just the tonic I needed. It is a book you cannot put down and want to dip into again and again. Well done Neil, Michael and all who contributed. Just the thing to get me back out into the field again ASAP. Fantastic layout, a beautiful book.

Mike Gibbons

Congratulations to Neil, Michael, Claire, Bob and all who contributed, this book is a credit to you all and I love it!

Mark Bunch

Perusing my shiny new copy at work during my lunch break. It shall sit pride of place next to Thomas Lewington on my bookshelf :). Thank you to all those involved in producing it.


Just a quick note to congratulate you on the book. It arrived yesterday and I've currently only read up to page 29, but I have flicked through the entire tome and it looks absolutely stunning. A first class effort and credit to everyone involved -

David M. South Wales

Thank you also, and massive congratulations on the Atlas, which arrived yesterday, on my birthday. It's almost as if it was planned! It looks stunning and I'm looking forward to reading it -

Lee Hurrell

I love this book. Those concerned should feel as proud as Peacocks, or Dukes, or Emperors....

Lindsay Norris

Just to say we've received our copy of the Atlas - it's superb! Congratulations to all involved in the making of it. We're so pleased to have been a small part of it (and a very small part of the picture on p22!), We're sorry we won't be able to attend the Atlas launch party in Brighton, but we're sure it will be a good evening...we'll raise as glass to everyone concerned, as we re-enact the preferred method of looking for Purple Hairstreaks through the bottom of a pint glass while sitting in a pub garden...

Jackie and Dave Wedds

I love this book. Those concerned should feel as proud as Peacocks, or Dukes, or Emperors....

Lindsay Norris


Colin Pratt, County Recorder

What a superb book! I almost read it from cover to cover when it arrived. . Congratulations to Neil, Michael and everyone at SBC involved with its production. "Book of the year" for me.

Richard Stephens

I was inspired to park at Chantry Hill, which I had never visited before, by the mention in your new atlas. That is a magnificent piece of work. Not just a great atlas, but one of the best butterfly books I have ever read.

Francis Kelly

A beautiful book and a magnificent achievement. The culmination of years of endeavour by the authors and all those who helped them. It is a fitting testament to their herculean industry.

Jonathan Crawford

Your book is truly beautiful. Well done. Such an incredible achievement. Definitely the best Butterfly Atlas ever.

Henri Brocklebank

IT'S HERE!!!! and it looks bloody brilliant...............how am I supposed to get any work done now? Massive congratulations.

Kate Ryland

The quality of the writing, the production, the astoundingly good pictures and wealth of detail are wonderful. I've already spent hours studying it. There is so much information - where, when (even including times of day to see some species) will be so useful. I'm sure this special book will inspire many more to make the effort to get out and see more of these great Sussex butterflies. I plan to write to several friends today - to encourage them to get a copy of the book as soon as they can.

David Humphries

Just received and thumbed my copy of the book and first impressions are just WOW. What a beautiful book, congratulations to all involved. It"s clearly going to be a book I return to over and over again and continues to inspire.

Gary Faulkner

I have just received my copy of the Butterflies Of Sussex, it is a wonderful book and I will always be grateful to Michael and Neil for all your efforts in producing such a comprehensive book. You should both be very proud of the achievement. Hopefully it will encourage more people to take an interest in Butterflies and hopefully other counties will follow your example.

Colin Upton

WOW! Thrilled to receive the amazing Butterflies of Sussex today. Gorgeous, fascinating, entertaining, remarkable!

Dan Hoare

It"s arrived! Fabulous book! Must be a contender for natural history book of the year!

Chris Corrigan

Just a quick line to say what a brilliant atlas you've produced - one of the best I've seen.

James Power

I received my copy of "The Butterflies of Sussex" yesterday. What an absolutely superb book! And what a tremendous amount of work you and the others have put in.

Alan Cooke

I've just received the above. What a splendid book! Congratulations to Michael, Neil and all the others involved in its production. I look forward to many happy hours in my armchair; and the many more in the field that will have been stimulated by the book.

Tim Roberts

brilliantly well-written and a pleasure to read, congratulations.

Martin Harvey

What a wonderful book Michael, Neil, Clare and all the others have produced. My copy arrived yesterday morning and I have hardly been able to put it down since!! Beautifully written, eminently readable, informative (I have even been able to identify the wasp I found lurking around in our meddler tree as the one that predates Holly Blues) and as with anything which contains Neil's photographs, wonderful just to browse through. All of us who cherish the Sussex countryside, whether lepidopterists or not, owe you a huge debt of gratitude.

David Connell

This book is easily the best book I've got on butterflies. It is truly awesome. Well done everyone involved in its production

Mark Tuen-Matthews

The intro section is so beautifully put it reduced our emotionally unstable mother to tears...

Kim Greaves

You will receive many plaudits for this magnificent work. I have only just begun to read it but already I am thinking this will be a collector's item. Well done the both of you!

Martin Kalaher

My pre-order copy of The Butterflies of Sussex has just thudded through my letterbox. I have taken a good look at it (short of reading it page-by-page, as yet!), and I must say it's a humdinger. I don't know your county very well, but I thought Matthew's Foreword was very evocative, and of course inimitable. The atlas is a positive encouragement to explore Sussex further. It is a most professional and erudite document. The new Surrey atlas set a new standard, I thought, a few years ago. But I've been really impressed by the county atlases that have followed. The bar just gets higher and higher. The whole Branch should be very proud of what has been achieved here. But I would reserve special congratulations for Nigel and the authors - Michael and Neil. Bravo! I'm sure that the Atlas will quickly generate a very positive reputation, and I hope that this boosts sales.

Simon Saville

My copy of the new Atlas arrived yesterday and it's magnificent. Messrs Blencowe and Hulme have produced something vey special with their heroic efforts.
I haven't read it all yet because a) it is quite big, and b) it is so engrossing that time flies and suddenly I realise that I should be doing something else..
Congratulations. Brilliant.

Peter Atkinson

Just received my copy of The Butterflies Of Sussex v well done to both authors and all the photographers.

Barry Sketchley

Congratulations to Michael & Neil, & everyone else involved, for a superb book. High quality printing, presentation & photos, very informative & a lot of practical & useful content. I shall enjoy using & reading the book for a long time.

John Ward

My copies of the Butterflies of Sussex arrived today. This is an astonishing accomplishment and all of those involved with this project have every reason to feel immensely proud. Congratulations to the two authors, Michael Blencowe and Neil Hulme, data queen Clare Blencowe, graphics king Bob Foreman and marketing magician Nigel Symington, plus the many other participants who worked so hard to turn this dream into a reality.

Its simply amazing, a authoritative tome for decades to come.

Dr Dan Danahar

I arrived back from my butterfly transect today to find "The Butterflies of Sussex" had arrived. Cup of tea in hand I immediately sat down and checked it out. I will digest it in detail over the coming days, but as expected it is a brilliant work and will be an important reference and guide for generations to come. Congratulations to the authors and everyone involved in creating the data, processing it, photographing the creatures and creating the finished product. I feel proud to be part of the Sussex BC team!

Colin Knight

Yes its just arrived through my letterbox. "The Butterflies of Sussex Atlas". Please pass on my warmest congratulation to everyone involving in its production. Its a wonderful tribute to all the members hard work and diligent recording. Its well worth the money. I will show it around my friends and hope to increase the Sussex Branch Membership. Jobs have just come to a standstill in my house.

Janet Wilkes
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