The naturalist Stephen Moss finally achieved his aim to see all 61 of the UK’s butterfly species. But those that thrive on the margins could vanish as temperatures rise
It was a long walk up the steep, rocky path, on an unexpectedly warm day – but well worth the effort. Along the banks of a stream, on the slopes of Ben Lawers in the Scottish Highlands, I finally came across my quarry.
A small, unassuming, chocolate-brown butterfly, with a row of black spots edged with orange on its wings: the mountain ringlet. For me, this marked a natural history milestone: the last of Britain’s 61 regularly occurring butterflies which I had yet to see.