7 SEPTEMBER 1907, Page 17


To THZ EDITOR OP` THU "SPECTATOR:1 SIR,—Every Nature-lover will thank you for the very charm- ing article in your issue of August 17th on "Butterfly Gardens." The enhanced beauty which even half-a-dozen butterflies will give to a flower-bed is too seldom realised. For this reason it was to many of us a profound disappointment when such complete failure attended the London County Council's attempt to fill one of their parks with these fairy visitors. The cause of the failure—about which your writer seems rather in doubt—was simple enough. By a really extraordinary error of judgment, the carefully reared specimens were let loose all together. The bright cloud of colour instantly attracted all the sparrows in the vicinity, and they swooped upon the newly liberated butterflies, and forth- with demolished them. In the same article comment is made on the disappearance of certain of the rarer species ; but is it not a generally accepted fact that butterflies in general are becoming woefully scarce ? Certainly this is true of the Northern districts round London, where they used to be abundant. If this is so, it would be good to know whether the causes are removable, or could in any degree be counter-