Country Life Today: The impact of climate change on British butterflies

In today's news round-up we bring you a mixed report on the status of British butterflies, a charming note from a farmer's daughter, and a zebra with an identity crisis.

How climate change is influencing butterflies

Some butterflies are struggling to adjust to rapid climate change but others appear to be prospering, according to studies led by scientists from the University of York.

Many species are not moving north as widely or quickly as expected and the reason is two-fold — some are isolated on small areas of suitable habitat, unable to expand through a human-dominated landscape, and secondly, butterflies are emerging earlier in spring as climate change warms the weather.

However, there are some species, like the Green Carpet (pictured) and the Small Dusty Wave, that appear to be thriving. These butterflies produce offspring several times a year, so the earlier spring start provides a longer breeding season.

‘Our results indicate that while some more flexible species are able to thrive by emerging earlier in the year, this is not the case for many single generation species that are habitat specialists — these species are vulnerable to climate change,’ said Professor Jane Hill, of the University of York.

Full story (

On this day…

On 30 October, 1485,  Henry VII of England was crowned at Westminster Abbey. He was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle.

‘My daddy works very hard and cares about his cows’: Seven-year-old farmer’s daughter sends beautiful letter that’s been read by millions

cow herd

A seven-year-old was inspired to write to Farmers Guardian after watching a Tesco advert promoting vegetarianism, claiming her dad ‘works very hard and cares a lot about his cows’.

In the supermarket advert a girl says, ‘Daddy, I don’t want to eat animals anymore’. Her father then cooks a casserole using vegetarian Cumberlands as an alternative to his usual sausages and says, ‘I bloomin’ love my meat, but not as much as I love my little girl’.

The youngster’s letter was shared on the Farmers Guardian Facebook page where it has been seen by 1.4 million people and received more than 11,000 shares.

Read full story (Country Life)

And finally… A donkey in disguise?

A zoo in Cairo, Egypt, has been accused of painting a donkey to disguise it as a zebra.

The zoo insists the zebra is real, despite critics claiming it has smudged stripes and very large ears…