SIR David Attenborough has urged people to spend the day this Saturday helping butterflies in the Didcot area.

The veteran broadcaster and environmentalist has backed a day of action by national charity Butterfly Conservation.

The conservation group is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Saturday with a UK-wide day of work, including the local event co-ordinated by its Upper Thames division.

Sir David, who is the charity's president, said: "Half a century ago a small group of naturalists became so concerned about the plight of the UK’s butterflies that they decided to join forces to protect them.

"That organisation became Butterfly Conservation, and 50 years later the need for people who care about our butterflies and moths is greater than ever before.

"You can do your bit for butterflies by taking part in Butterfly Conservation’s day of action on Saturday.

"By working together we can all take some simple steps to provide butterflies with a future."

The charity is hoping that a record number of people will join the day of work this weekend improving and creating habitats for their local butterfly and moth species.

In Oxfordshire, BC's Upper Thames Branch will meet at Aston Upthorpe Downs nature reserve, south east of Didcot, from 10am until 1pm.

Conservation tasks will involve improving and creating habitat to help butterflies like the Grizzled and Dingy Skippers, Small Blue and Small Heath.

Charity chairman Jim Asher, said: "Please join us at Aston Upthorpe Downs to celebrate our special birthday and help us maintain this wonderful site for our local butterflies.

"People can come for as little or as long as they like and we will provide all the tools you’ll need for the day and simple training on how to use them.

"BC Branches from all over the UK will be holding similar anniversary events so this could end up being one of the biggest conservation days in BC’s history."

Founded in March 1968, Butterfly Conservation is now one of the largest insect conservation organisations in the world.

In that half-a-century, more than three-quarters of the UK’s butterflies and two-thirds of our larger moths have declined in numbers.

A joint investigation in 2015 by BC and Wallingford Centre for Ecology and Hydrology concluded that destruction of hedgerows and other wild habitats in Oxfordshire specifically was leading to local extinctions.

The charity runs projects to protect more than 100 threatened species, as well as conserving hundreds of sites and reserves across the country.

People can find out more information on the events taking place near them at