A dearth of butterflies and moths in 2017?

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar on Ragwort (Butt End, Wye)
Cinnabar Moth

Regular readers of WyeWeb will know that we have a fascination with moths and butterflies. This year has been particularly challenging for early species of our colourful friends – the cold spring, the heavy rains of late and, particularly, the strong winds may have been largely responsible. However, one local change we know for certain has decimated our local population of the Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae). This beautifully marked moth laid its eggs on ragwort which was very prolific in the wild land (Butt End) now transformed into the playing field of Wye Free School. Perhaps this insect and other butterflies that used Butt End as a bridge from the woodland to the town were not significant to the ecologists who reported to the school?

Wye Free School Ecology Report 2016

Of course, this is only to be aggregated with the decline already noted over the past decade: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/16/urban-butterfly-declines-69-compared-to-45-drop-countryside