Forget Brexit for a while and count the butterflies, Attenborough tells Brits

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FILE PHOTO: Freya Gordon, aged 10, poses for a photograph with a butterfly during an event to launch the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London

FILE PHOTO: Freya Gordon, aged 10, poses for a photograph with a butterfly during an event to launch the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, Britain, March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Naturalist David Attenborough suggested the British public take a break from squabbling over Brexit and instead take part in the world's biggest count of butterflies.

"I am asking them to turn their mind away from the squabbles and problems about what's facing us with Brexit, sit in a quiet place where the sun is shining, and see how many butterflies come and count them," Attenborough told BBC radio on Friday.

The 92-year old, Britain's much-loved face of nature and conservation, is leading the campaign for the survey.

He asked the general public to spend 15 minutes spotting Brimstones, Holly Blues, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and other species for the charity Butterfly Conservation which uses the count to assess the health of the environment.

Attenborough, the man behind the "Planet Earth" and "Blue Planet" documentaries, said counting butterflies was calming for the soul and spirit.

"It is good for people to forget about the woes of Brexit and whatever other woes they may see politically around the world and just concentrate on the natural world that was here before us and will be here after us," he said.


(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)