If you want to help take the pulse of the nation's nature, head over to Cotehele to be part of the nationwide Big Butterfly Count.

The National Trust house, garden and estate in south-east Cornwall will be holding butterfly-counting afternoons on three Saturdays in July.

Cotehele ranger James Robbins said: "Butterflies are a good indicator of natural habitats.

"If butterflies aren’t doing well, it’s an indication that other species are probably struggling too. When you come to count the butterflies, you’ll be helping assess the health of the environment."

Visitors will start off by making a butterfly mask modelled on one of the seven or so butterflies found at Cotehele - you could be a heath fritillary for a day. Camouflaged in the masks, they can choose a spot in the garden and count the butterflies and moths seen in 15 minutes. The Cotehele team will then send all the data collected to the nation's Big Butterfly Count survey at Butterfly Conservation headquarters.

Butterflies likely to be found at Cotehele from spring to late summer include brimstone, red admiral, peacock, small tortoiseshell, silver washed fritillary, small copper. The ranger team is particularly interested in the rare heath fritillary, which is nationally scarce but has been found in the Tamar valley.

This event is suitable for families to do together and solo lepidopterists are welcome as well. Butterfly counts will run on July 15, 22 and 29, between 12noon and 3pm, and there’s no need to book.