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Center Parcs supports Big Butterfly Count

Press release   •   Jul 23, 2010 00:00 BST

As part of Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count (in association with Marks & Spencer) which takes place from 24th July until 1st August, Center Parcs offers tips for counting these colourful creatures and has activities on offer to guests to celebrate the this wondrous insect.

To help Butterfly Conservation record as much information about butterflies in the UK, all you need to do is take 15 minutes during a bright sunny day between 24th July and 1st August and record the maximum number of species you can see at a single time. Then, you can record what you saw on the Big Butterfly Count website

Guests at Center Parcs can also take part in the Big Butterfly count from anywhere on the 4 UK locations. Guests who also want to take part in butterfly themed activities can build an insect habitat box whilst on their break to put in their garden when they return home, have their face painted like a butterfly or give nature photography a go as you try to capture the beauty of this delicate creature.

Protecting and enhancing the natural forest environment for wildlife has always been a fundamental part of the philosophy of Center Parcs. For over twenty years the biodiversity of the Center Parcs’ 4 forest sites have been protected and cared for by a dedicated Ground Services team and experienced Rangers.

Center Parcs has recorded over 35 different varieties of butterfly at their 4 forest locations, all of which enjoy the sunny glades dotted around the forests. Of these 35 varieties, 3 are rare and declining species including the Dingy Skipper. Center Parcs Rangers are experienced at counting a wide variety of flora and fauna. So what advice can a Center Parcs Ranger give us when counting butterflies for the first Big Butterfly Count this year?

Joelle Bryan Conservation Ranger at Center Parcs says:

“It is so important for us to look after a wide variety of species including butterflies. Butterflies flourish in several different areas including; wetlands, meadows, the edge of forests, and gardens. Butterflies have individual tastes when it come to pollen and love brightly coloured flowers. Look out for woody plants located near nectar plants, puddles and wet soil as these provide butterflies with cover, food and drinking water during rough weather. Long grass is another favourite amongst many butterflies. The best time to see a butterfly is when they are in the adult stage of their life cycle (between June and August) and in sunny weather.”

Build a Habitat Box is an workshop running all year round at Sherwood Forest, Longleat Forest and Whinfell Forest and can be booked as part of a short break at Center Parcs. The minimum age for this workshop is 5 years and it is £15.00 per box so each member of the family can make their own or it can be a fun family project. Face painting is £5.50 per child and is available at all UK Center Parcs locations. Wildlife photography is only available at Sherwood Forest and is £32.00 per person.

For more information or to make a booking visit: or call: 08448 266 266

For more information about Butterfly Conservation or the Big Butterfly Count, visit:

Notes to editors

Center Parcs is proud to be the UK’s leading short break provider, offering families a chance to spend quality time together in a natural forest environment. Nature is at the very heart of the Center Parcs philosophy with a team of Conservation Rangers on each village responsible for protecting the biodiversity of the area. Center Parcs was awarded the Green Business Award for Biodiversity Protection in 2009 and praised for a ‘sustained commitment to the protection and, very importantly, the enhancement of biodiversity’ on all 4 villages.

Butterfly Conservation was formed in 1968 following the alarming decline of many butterflies.Most British butterfly species remain in decline. Butterflies are beautiful and intrinsically valuable. Together with moths, their sensitivity to environmental change makes them valuable indicators of the health of the countryside. BC has almost 15,000 members in the UK and 31 volunteer Branches throughout the British Isles. BC employ over 50 people including many highly qualified scientists, making them the world's largest research institute for butterflies and moths. BC operate 33 nature reserves and we are involved in 67 landscape-scale projects to conserve habitats.

Contact information

Jessica Marshall-Pearce, Press Officer 
Telephone: 01623 821723 Email:

Notes to Editors

  1. Center Parcs has five Villages across the UK; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire which opened to guests on 6 June 2014
  2. As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs regularly achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%
  3. Center Parcs offers weekend, (Friday to Monday) or midweek (Monday to Friday) breaks and welcomes over 1.7 million guests each year, with 96% of guests expressing an intention to return
  4. The Center Parcs concept is to provide a range of high quality accommodation, shops, restaurants and exceptional leisure facilities, carefully nestled amongst 400 acres of protected forest environment
  5. This concept originated in Holland in 1967, with the first UK Center Parcs opening in 1987. Center Parcs is now a separate entity in the UK, owned by The Blackstone Group
  6. Center Parcs has been awarded the following accolades since 2008: the Green Business Award for Biodiversity Protection, Visit Britain 5 Star Rating, Hospitality Assured, Biodiversity Benchmark - Land Management, Carbon Trust Standard, Good Spa Guide Award, ISO14001, Investors in People
  7. Center Parcs has recently been announced ‘Best Family Holiday Provider’ in the Tommy’s Awards for the eleventh year in a row