A WILDLIFE charity has asked the public to help it measure the impact of climate change during the lockdown.

Lulworth-based Butterfly Conservation needs assistance to continue its monitoring work of moth and butterfly populations, as many of its volunteers and scientists are unable to carry out this work because of the current Government restrictions.

Experts at the charity say that butterfly population changes provide a vital indicator of climate change. Now the charity wants anyone with outdoor space at home to lend a hand.

Richard Fox, associate director of recording and research, said: "Studying the changing flight times and locations of butterfly species across the UK is vital to understanding the impacts of climate change on our native wildlife.

"This spring we are going to have a gap in our phenology data as our scientists and volunteers are not able to carry out their usual monitoring at nature reserves and across the UK countryside.

"So, we are asking the general public to please help us out.

"This is something you can do for science and climate change in your own back garden.

"We know that climate change is making butterflies emerge earlier in spring and some are spreading to new parts of the UK.

"We need you to tell us where and when you saw them."

To find out more about how to submit a recording visit the Butterfly Conservation website.

Richard says residents can keep an eye out for garden butterflies such as Brimstone, Comma, Speckled Wood, Holly Blue and Orange-tip.

He added: "Monitoring the changing distributions of butterflies is important to understanding the effects of climate change on our environment.

"We know that for some species climate change has helped to boost numbers, while for others it has had an adverse effect, but there’s still so much to learn. You never know what you might see.

"There has even been a scattering of Painted Lady butterfly sightings across the country in the last week.

"This species is a migrant from warmer parts of Europe, which normally arrives at the end of May or early June.

"We can’t gather data in our usual ways this spring, so we need the help of everyone who is at home, with a garden or outdoor space, during the lockdown period.

"Each recording is important for our work to conserve UK butterflies and we would love the public to get behind us."

Visit butterfly-conservation.org/mysightings to help.