Butterflies are a true sign of summer and we love seeing them finding nectar over our grasslands, flying between our woodland edges and shooting past our offices. The Big Butterfly Count is on until 8 August, so get involved in recording these beautiful insects.

Did you know, the scientific name for butterflies and moths is Lepidoptera, a word of Greek origin, meaning wings with scales. The tiny scales on the wings of butterflies are what make the fantastic colours we can see!

Here's a little overview of where you can spot butterflies at our lakes.


The common blue is the most widespread of our blue butterflies. It favours grassy habitats where its food plants are often found. You can see these all summer, often into September and October. Try our reservoirs with lots of grassy habitats such as Stithians Lake.

How to spot them

The males are a striking blue, whereas the females can show small amount of blue with much more brown and orange colourings. 


This is the marbled white butterfly. This butterfly usually sticks to meadows and grasslands and can be seen in July and August. This one was found at Roadford Lake but try any of our lakes with lots of grassy patches! 

How to spot them

This is the only black and white chequered butterfly we have in the UK, so you are unlikely to get this confused with any other species!


The painted lady is a migratory butterfly which can be spotted almost anywhere at our reservoirs over the summer. They particularly like scruffy areas of tall standing thistles and nettles. To find out more about how painted lady butterflies move around the globe every year, visit the Butterfly Conservation website.

#ItsYourOutdoors - come and explore!