A butterfly which has been struggling for the last 40 years could be making a comeback, says wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation.

The Common Blue is the most widespread of the UK’s blue butterflies and during the record-breaking hot weather in 2018, the butterfly’s numbers soared across the UK, increasing by 104 per cent on the previous summer.

Now, with the country experiencing another heatwave and the Met Office forecasting above average temperatures throughout August, experts are predicting the Common Blue could see its best ever summer.

As part of this year’s Big Butterfly Count, Butterfly Conservation has teamed up with Campaign for National Parks to ask the public to look out for and record the Common Blue across England and Wales.

The butterfly is not typically found in gardens, preferring unimproved grassland such as downland, woodland clearings, heathland and even sand dunes.

Butterfly Conservation’s senior surveys officer, Dr Zoe Randle, said: “People should be able to spot these butterflies as their caterpillars mainly feed on the wildflower, Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil.

“In England last year, the butterfly’s numbers were up 110 per cent from 2017 and in Wales their numbers were up 94 per cent for the same period.

“However, numbers of the first brood which emerged in June were slightly down on last year, so it will be interesting to see how the second brood emerging in August will respond to the heatwave.

“It would really help us if people could get outside and look for this butterfly, so we can see if its fortunes really have turned around or if the Common Blue still needs our help.

“We’re also keen for people to keep recording any Painted Lady sightings, as this could be a record year for them – in just two days last week, people across the UK counted more than 30,000 Painted Lady butterflies and thousands more have been seen since then.”

To celebrate Campaign for National Parks 70th anniversary, members of the public are being encouraged to look for the Common Blue and take part in the Big Butterfly Count.