Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Post-15 BAP. Updated to 2023




Butterflies header - Small Whites

Butterfly species. Green Hairstreak on moorland bilberry, Wall Brown patrolling grass-verged upland lanes, Speckled Wood in grassy glades, Meadow Brown in farmland, or Peacock, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell in our gardens; butterflies are a delight to see.

They can be found basking on leaves, walls and bare ground and visiting flowers for nectar; butterflies are useful pollinators and an important indicator of a healthy natural environment and biodiversity.

Butterfly species breeding in Barnsley


Common Blue

Holly Blue

Small Blue

Brown Argus



Meadow Brown

Small Heath

Speckled wood



Hairstreaks & Coppers

Green Hairstreak,

Purple Hairstreak

White-letter Hairstreak

Small Copper


Dingy Skipper

Essex Skipper (recent)

Small Skipper

Large Skipper

Whites and yellows

Large White

Small White

Green-veined White

Orange Tip





Red Admiral (resident)

Small Tortoiseshell

Italics = priority species

Some butterfly species such as Comma, Gatekeeper, Ringlet and Speckled Wood have expanded northwards into Barnsley since the 1980s. A list of butterfly species recorded as resident and breeding in Barnsley is given on the right.

However many butterfly species have declined in numbers and are under threat. It’s important to have habitats that support butterfly species.

Sites where there is an assemblage of 10 or more butterfly species including ones considered of least concern nationally are a local conservation priority.

The UKBAP, Section 41 and red-listed Dingy Skipper, Small Heath, Wall Brown, White-letter Hairstreak and now Small Blue are all found in Barnsley. For further details on these local priority species follow the links below.

Generally, butterflies are threatened by a variety of sources. These include intensive farming, land development, fires and floods, habitat isolation, pollution, and climate change. Nitrogen pollution is increasingly an issue.

However there is evidence that climate change is helping some species arrive naturally in Barnsley. These should be included in the local list as they become established.

Conservation. Many butterfly species are ‘generalists’ but others need specific habitat features, including the plants that their larvae (caterpillars) feed on, the flowers adults prefer for nectar, and the conditions needed for shelter and over-wintering. Recording and monitoring butterfly species populations is important.

Further information can be found via these links:

In addition…


Painted Lady

Clouded Yellow


Marbled White

Silver-Washed Fritillary

Dark Green Fritillary


Butterfly Conservation:Link

UK Butterflies: Link

BugLife Link

Green-veined whites on mud

 Butterfly Species