Sussex, sitting on the South Coast and boasting a diverse range of habitats set within beautiful, iconic landscapes, has always been recognised as one of the best areas of the country in which to watch and appreciate our butterflies. The Butterflies of Sussex summarises their current distribution and status, based on an intensive five year survey by local Butterfly Conservation members.
The lavishly illustrated texts, covering 53 species, include many original insights into a rapidly changing world of losses and gains, capturing an unprecedented period in the history of British butterflies. While some species have declined as the result of habitat loss and climate change, others have been brought back from the very brink by targeted conservation efforts.
Meanwhile, exotic butterflies such as the Long-tailed Blue and Continental Swallowtail now regularly migrate into Sussex from mainland Europe. The Butterflies of Sussex also features a comprehensive guide to the county's best butterfly sites, covering the sandy lowland heaths, rolling chalk hills of the South Downs and tranquil woods of the Weald.
Authors Neil Hulme and Michael Blencowe are Sussex naturalists whose conservation work and writing are well known. The foreword is provided by the indomitable butterfly enthusiast Matthew Oates, who longs to return to the county of his school years. This is an essential book for any butterfly lover, from beginner to expert.
"I have lost count of the number of county butterfly atlases I have reviewed in these pages, but this one is special. In fact, it’s terrific. Images of butterflies are legion these days, but those in The Butterflies of Sussex are among the very best and cover not only the adult butterflies, but also all their early stages, their habitats and some of the more frequently encountered varieties or ‘aberrations’ [...] Well designed, well printed and very readable, this must be one of the best county butterfly guides yet published and a model for the future."
– Peter Marren, British Wildlife 28(6), August 2017