British Butterflies the Law

British Butterflies the Law

Information pertaining to WILD British Butterflies and status

BRITISH BUTTERFLIES AND THE LAW Introduction

NOTE: All British & European butterflies offered for sale on this website are either from antique collections or captive bred.


PLEASE ALSO SEE THE ARTICLE E.P.S as this new European legislation adds further misery to the captive breeding programmes of Lepidopterists


Sadly we in the UK have lost vast amounts of suitable Butterfly habitat due to modern agricultural methods spurred on by ultimately money. The conscientious Butterfly breeder/collector has been unduly denied access to the following species due to “THE LAW” which like so many laws remove the rights of individuals to enjoy a practical interaction with nature on the basis of “Protection” …. True protection of species does not come by denying the rights of the very people who help wildlife in this case Butterfly Breeders but by “soundness of mind” That is the ability with-in oneself to work with nature and be able in good conscience to know that whatever the individual aim the outcome will be a positive one for Butterflies. …. Protection must come not against the enthusiasts who adore their quarry and actively release captive bred species into the wild to re-establish lost species much to the delight of all – the General Public and Conservation groups alike, but protection must come against GREED THAT CAUSES HABITAT LOSS which is the true reason for loss of species. You only have to go back to the 1800’s and read accounts of how abundant Butterfly species where to understand that the decline is not to be laid at the foot of Breeders and collectors but at the foot of big Business, Agriculture and Government Policy…. The L.B.A. encourages all too actively take part in captive British Butterfly breeding and release programmes to help save our Butterflies along with volunteer work in already established colonies….


The LAW protects the following WILD species against RE SALE To quote section 9 part 5b which applies… “Advertising for buying or selling or dead animal, part or derivative
Note LAW does not apply to captive bred insects. However BEWARE always have proof of origin! Sale receipts etc…or you could be in trouble! No matter how honest you are the onus is on you to prove the origin of stock….
Adonis Blue 1989
Black Hairstreak 1989
Brown Hairstreak 1989
Chalkhill Blue 1989
Chequered Skipper 1989
Duke of Burgandy
Skipper 1989
Glanville Fritillary 1989
Duke of Burgandy Fritillary 1989
Large Heath 1989
Large Tortoiseshell 1989
Lulworth Skipper 1989
Mountain Ringlet 1989
Northern Brown Argus 1989
Pearl Bordered Fritillary 1989
Purple Emperor 1989
Silver Spotted Skipper 1989
Silver Studded Blue 1989
Small Blue 1989
White Letter Hairstreak 1989
Wood White 1989 ….


The LAW fully protects the following WILD species. To quote section 9 Parts 1 “Intentional killing, injuring, taking. Part 2 Possession or control (live or dead animal, part or derivative) Part 4a Damage to, destruction of, obstruction of access to any structure or place used by a scheduled animal for shelter or protection Part 4b Disturbance or animal occupying such a structure or place Part 5a Selling, offering for sale, possessing or transporting for the purpose of sale (live or dead animal, part or derivative) Part 5b Advertising for buying or selling live or dead animal, part or derivative.”
Note LAW does not apply to captive bred insects. However BEWARE always have proof of origin! Sale receipts etc…or you could be in trouble! No matter how honest you are the onus is on you to prove the origin of stock.

SWALLOWTAIL 1992
MARSH FRITILLARY 1992
LARGE COPPER 1992 – See new E.P.S. legislation on this species
LARGE BLUE 1992 – See new E.P.S. legislation on this species
HIGH BROWN FRITILLARY 1992
HEATH FRITILLARY 1992


IF YOU BREED OR COLLECT EUROPEAN LEPIDOPTERA YOU MUST READ THE NEW “European Protected Species” List to make sure your captive breeding programmes fall with-in the new legislation. Direct DEFRA link here.