Site Details NEW
Recorders: Paul + Joyce Simmons, Les Driffield Distance: 2988m Walk Time : 1 hour
Brockadale is located in the valley of the River Went as it flows through a craggy, steep-sided gorge formed after the last ice-age when glacial melt-water burst through the magnesian limestone ridge. Around 350 species of plants grow on the nature reserve. Early flowers such as cowslip, common dog-violet and spring cinquefoil, well suited to the limestone soil, can be seen in spring. Native plants such as rock-rose follow, as well as orchids, salad burnet, yellow-wort, betony, field scabious and, in August, a profusion of clustered bellflower. Butterflies abound in the meadows, with the spectacular Marbled White and Dark Green Fritillary are unmissable in July. Day-flying moths like Six-spot Burnet and Chimney Sweeper are common, Silver washed fritillary is now a common sight and both Purple and White-letter Hairstreaks can be seen.
S1 starts from the car park westwards along the top of the hill with hedgerows as well as the meadow below and has very high counts of meadow brown and is a favourite with the Small Tortoiseshell. S2 is just above the Horse field in the process of being improved with lots of Small Tortoiseshells. We enter the woodland S3 in a very quiet shady section frequented occasionally by Speckled Woods and Silver --washed Fritillary. S4 is a small meadow in the middle of woodland which abounds with violets and is the home of the Dark-green fritillary and many Marbled Whites. S5 known as the the butterfly ride is full lof Speckled Woods and Ringlets and is a favourite with the Silver-washed Fritillary. S6 descends through the woodland towards the valley with more Ringlets and Speckled Woods. Section 7 valley bottom with damper calcareous grassland stands out with huge numbers of Ringlet, Marbled White, Peacocks and the other vanessids plus white but particularly Brimstones and Gatekeeper. Brown argus also appears here asS7 S8 is intermediate scrub before starting back up the slope of S9 and Common Blues appear in number. Holy Blue has been spotted in S10