One of few positives from the laborious Covid-19 lockdown seems to be a rediscovery of nature by those who had forgotten to notice what was happening around them.

Suddenly people long since disconnected with nature tuned in again to its sights and sounds on their regular exercise walks from home.

Birds and birdsong catapulted back into fashion alongside butterflies. They were located and admired by the negligent and the newly enthusiastic.

I had seen 27 of Britain’s regular 59 butterfly species up to early September this year with 13 of those occurring in the garden or on regular local walks and five more seen elsewhere in Bexley borough. I had no idea the local area was so butterfly-rich.

Wild Things: A rich and diverse ecosystem under threat

A fine spring contributed to a modest butterfly revival according to Butterfly Conservation who cautiously predict bumper figures when they are collated.

Even the Large Blue has thrived just a year after this extinct British butterfly returned to our countryside. Eggs imported from Sweden were introduced at West Country sites as larvae and an estimated 750 Large Blues emerged this summer.

Those prolific publishers Princeton WildGuides have commendably moved with the times by releasing an updated issue of their field guide Britain’s Butterflies. Previous editions appeared in 2002, 2010 and 2015 but the 2020 version is the most up to date butterfly guide available with an extra species account awarded to Scarce Tortoiseshells, seen again in 2014 for the first time since 1953. It also includes the split of Real’s Wood White into two species along with the Cryptic Wood White.

Wild Things: A journey back through time

Other revised features include new introductory sections to the main “types” of butterflies, updated distribution maps, a revised species order reflecting latest taxonomy, revised sections on recording and monitoring, and conservation and legislation as well as a new section on climate change.

This is all combined with the usual high standard of photography including aberrations. There are detailed species profiles, maps and photographs of egg, caterpillar and chrysalis stages.

The standard of paper is much higher too following a switch of printer's from China to Italy. It is so comprehensive there's no need to look for any other butterfly ID guide.

Britain's Butterflies (fourth edition) by David Newland, Robert Still, Andy Swash and David Tomlinson is published by Princeton WildGuides price £17.99.