I don’t use Facebook and twitter but I found this when looking for any recent updates on the Black veined white on Duck Duck go part intended being the Butterflys in general
This is something to be aware of
https://twitter.com/LeeEvansBirding/status/1665416040514301953 section intended being the section on them released in general
We usually assume the Butterflys we see are allways Wild had eggs and become an adult at there own acord when some might of actually been reared some people do release them and currently someone is going to be releasing some in Sussex aparantly
As for the ones on Stinchcombe hill in 2010 Gloucester birder mentioned if that is what happened then some records on i spot could well be them if there is any
From very hazy memory of childhood think the stick insects might have been sometimes released from the lab onto privet hedges and similar.
Possibly also from school biology classrooms at the end of the school year. (I’d don’t recall why we had them when I was in high school, but had them we did.)
It is a bad habit. I think it particularly affects butterflies just because they are the most popular invertebrates. The simplistic thinking is, if you release enough, some of them will take. The same applied to barn owls which led to them being put on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act.
I imagine that’s how the self-sustaining population in the Scilly Isles started?
I think it’s illegal to release any non-native creatures into the wild in the UK? There was a small breeding population of Egyptian geese near Mohamed Al-Fayed’s place in Oxted (famous as the home town of one Sir K Starmer!) and now there are loads of them across Kent and Surrey.
From memory (I used to do wildlife licensing in Countryside Council for Wales but not since 1999), unless you have a licence to do so, it is illegal to release into the wild any animal that is not normally found in the wild in Britain. So that covers any animal not yet living wild in Britain, but non-native species which are already established are not covered by that wording. Then there is Schedule 9 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act which lists particular species which you are not allowed to release, so that covers things like grey squirrel and signal crayfish which are non-native problem species already established here. Barn owl is unusual in being the only native species that it is illegal to release without a licence.
The rules on plants are looser. There is nothing in the W&C Act against release of a plant unless it is listed on Schedule 9.