Lily Butterfield is the sister of Edna Birch and came to Emmerdale in October 2007 and stayed with Edna initially but their obvious personality differences caused friction. After finding out Lily was growing cannabis at Home Farm, Edna evicted her from the house. Lily later left the village in shame on 23rd January but returned several months later and made up with Edna. On Lily's return to the village, she stayed at the B&B until Pearl Ladderbanks invited her to move in. She was lonely and Lily needed somewhere to stay so it seemed a perfect match. Lily also got a job as machinist at Eric Pollard's factory, where she made friends with the other girls.

Lily used her love for entering magazine competitions and contests to create a pool with Pearl, Douglas Potts and Betty Eagleton where they entered lots of competitions. Pearl won a cruise for two and Lily and Betty buttered her up for the other ticket. Finally, she asked Lily to go with her but Lily's attempts to take over caused Pearl's then-boyfriend, Joe Jacobs, to drop a suitcase on Lily's foot in anger. Lily had to miss the cruise and Joe went with Pearl.

In September 2008, Peter returned for a surprise visit, as he was desperate for money. When he wanted £10,000, she told him he'd already had almost every penny she had but he insisted she owed him for what she'd put him through. When she was unable to help, Peter stormed out, leaving Lily in tears.

Lily thought things were looking up when she and the factory girls won a car in a raffle. They planned to sell it and Lily offered Peter her share but he blackmailed her to give him the ticket, which she did reluctantly. Attempting to cover her tracks, she convinced everyone that Pearl had got the number wrong and that they hadn't won anything, after all. Factory boss Val was suspicious and soon discovered the truth so Lily confessed. Edna gave Lily her life savings, claiming Peter had agreed to give the money back. Until the money came through, Lily had to work at the factory for free. Val and the other factory staff were disgusted that Lily had lied and tried to blame Pearl for her dishonesty and didn't want anything to do with her. One day, she collapsed at work with a bad headache. She insisted she was fine, not revealing that the doctor had told her if she felt bad again, to go to hospital. Following a second collapse, Rodney Blackstock took her to hospital and after tests, learned she had a cerebral aneurysm and would need surgery. Lily went into denial, telling Rodney the doctor had just gotten it wrong.

She remained adamant she was not undergoing the procedure until December 2008 when she started getting dizzy spells and finally, after collapsing again, decided to have the operation. She refused to tell Edna about her condition, telling her instead that she was going away when she was, in fact, in hospital. She fled the hospital before the procedure, meaning Rodney had to contact Edna and tell her everything. Leaving the choir competition, she found Lily and convinced her to have the operation. On 19th December 2008, she was released from hospital, following a successful operation. After meeting and getting on with Alan Turner's old friend, Eddy Fox, she offered him a place to stay when Betty insisted he leave her house. He had asked Alan to join him on a round the world trip and Alan agreed initially but later changed his mind. Lily suggested she go with him instead and he agreed but Betty and Edna were unhappy about the idea. Betty felt Eddy couldn't be trusted and Edna felt Lily was too old for such antics. Just before she left Lily made peace with Edna, who wished her the best of luck and made her promise to keep in regular contact. Lily and Eddy then left the village.

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