Summer Sun Brings Added Colour to the Port of Hull

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Painted lady at the Port of Hull - Copyright Richard Baines

A recent butterfly count on the Port of Hull reveals 17 of the 59 species of butterflies seen in the UK can be found on the port.

Thanks to the heatwave this summer, a recent biodiversity survey across the Port of Hull also included a butterfly count.

ABP Humber is in the process of carrying out a number of biodiversity and biosecurity surveys across its four Humber ports.

17 of the 59 species that you can see in the UK were recorded, and the count highlighted a number of painted ladies. This is one of two species that migrate in and out of the UK, the clouded yellow, being the other. The intercontinental migration from Northern Africa is not taken by one butterfly, but successive generations of butterflies, with each step a new endeavour to find suitable plants for their caterpillars to feed on.

It seems that 2019 could be especially important for the species, as records across Europe are suggesting we may be experiencing a ‘painted lady summer’ when millions of painted ladies arrive onto UK shores. The last ‘painted lady summer’ was in 2009, when over 10 million were recorded.

ABP Humber strives to protect and promote biodiversity across its port estate. We encourage ABP colleagues to volunteer for the Green and Clean team, taking part in litter picks, enhancing areas for wildlife, reducing waste and saving energy. Simon Bird Director, ABP Humber

Further surveys are being carried out across the ports, and the results of the butterfly counts will be submitted to the Butterfly Conservation Society.

The painted ladies counted at the Port of Hull were a little dishevelled, indicating they may have crossed the North Sea. Another butterfly count undertaken at the Port of Goole a few weeks later, found newly emerged painted ladies, indicating a wave of young butterflies, potentially from those that made it across the water, or from newly emerged continental migrants.