ONE of the country's favourite insects has been fluttering past our windows more regularly recently.

The number of butterfly sightings in gardens, including here in Worcester, increased last summer but is still below average.

Forty six out of the 56 species studied in 2013 recorded an annual increase compared with 2012, the worst butterfly year since records began in 1976.

However, the warm weather saw a large influx of some migrant species with numbers of Clouded Yellow butterflies from mainland Europe up by 4,373 compared with 2012.

“The recovery of butterflies in 2013 was highly welcome but there is still a long way to go before butterflies return to former glories," said Dr Tom Brereton, head of monitoring at Butterfly Conservation.

“Our ongoing monitoring efforts will be vital in assessing whether we are on track to reverse butterfly declines and rebuild a healthy countryside.”