London Natural History Society The place for wildlife in London

London Natural History Society - The place for wildlife in London

LNHS Recorders

A full list of the LNHS recorders for different taxonomic groups (or geographic areas for birds) can be found on the Who We Are page and contact details can be found on the Contact Us page.

Red Admiral on bus stop mapDuring the 80’s (1980-86 to be exact) the distribution of butterflies in London was mapped in ‘The Butterflies of the London Area’ atlas. London Natural History Society (LNHS) is pleased to announce that we are now updating this atlas though our London Butterfly Atlas Project.

Much has changed since to butterflies in London; while London itself has changed and is continuing to change. Survey information will improve knowledge to help the conservation of butterflies, habitats and other wildlife in London. The project is primarily concerned with the Greater London area – that of the 32 London Boroughs and the City of London. The aim is to map at least to the tetrad (2km x 2km) level. The project is using records from 2015 - 2019.

Work is now in hand to compile the butterfly atlas from the records of the surveys of 2015-2019 and we hope to provide further updates nearer to the time. Photographs remain welcome (see below) and recording continues for other surveys.

Which species of butterfly are being recorded?

Though the atlas is using the data for the years 2015-2019, more recent records will contribute to our knowledge of butterflies in London and in the wider LNHS Recording Area.

Orange TipThe Orange Tip is an early example; while later in the season species include the Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, the Large Skipper, Marbled White and Ringlet. Hairstreaks are often associated with particular tree species. For example the Purple Hairstreak is unusual in flying in the summer evenings, rather than during the day. The young stages of some hairstreak species can be searched for at other times of the year.

The LNHS website has background information – and identification charts for common species:


How can records be submitted for use in the atlas?

Brimstone SQUARE 2LNHS is working with many other organisations to collate butterfly records for the atlas. A record consists of the Species name, the Location (preferably with a six-figure Grid Reference – or with a postcode), the Date, and your Name as recorder. The number seen, the life stage (if not a flying adult butterfly), and the habitat are useful.

For records to be included they will need to get to Leslie Williams (LNHS Butterfly Recorder) via one of the following pathways:

  • Individual records can be made online on the Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL) website at
  • For multiple records please complete the Butterfly Recording Spreadsheet and email to the LNHS Butterfly Recorder (see the Contact Us page for details)
  • Records sent to iRecord, the iRecord Butterflies smartphone app), iSpot and Butterfly Conservation branches will also be forwarded on to us.

Additional Information

Common Blue SQUARE
: Photographs are requested for the atlas project and for photographs used the name of the photographer will be credited in the caption (unless the photographer states otherwise). This is an atlas about the butterflies of London and will illustrate that London is a home to those species. Photographs should have been taken within Greater London (or for rare species within the wider LNHS Recording Area). Photographs should be of sufficient digital quality and have been taken by those submitting the photographs. Please include the location of the photograph (and which will be used in the caption unless there are reasons to not identify the exact location). Other photographs that are desirable include those with habitat in the foreground or backgrounds of typical or famous London landmarks; and of habitat and landscapes of London.

Gatekeeper SQUAREButterfly Transects: Data from the monitored butterfly transects is also collated for the annual indices of population changes. Transect records contribute to the national UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS) indices, to the county indices managed by the branches of Butterfly Conservation, while there is also an index for Greater London collated by the London Natural History Society. Additionally, the transect records can contribute spatial / geographic records to recording schemes, since each section of the transect routes have their own grid reference.

Please direct any enquiries about the project to Leslie Williams, LNHS Butterfly Recorder (see the Contact Us page for details)