Calley Heath YWT

Wilberfoss nr. Pocklington

Site Description

Recorders:  Jen Stopford         Distance:  1200m            Altitude : 16m      Walk time approx 1 hour

Cali Heath was granted to the poor  during the American gold rush hence its name . The 2 set aside fields were purchased by YWT is 2003 were re-seeded with a species mix to recreate the natural grasslands. Restoration is really working on the site, with one of the seeded grasslands now species rich. Opposite the entrance is a very sandy dry heathland pock marked with ant hills and closely grazed by rabbits. 


Brimstone  and Comma are seen in S2 and S3 woodland  and hedges along with Speckled Woods.  S3  is favoured by Gatekeepers Meadow Browns and Ringlets and Marbled White. Small Copper is seen in S3. Dingy Skipper is seen in S1 along with Small Heath. 

Results 2023

County wide 2023 results reflect  the 2022 and  2023 spring drought with Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock nearly halved for the second year against their 5 year average. Red Admiral arrived in force in July and took advantage of soft nettle growth of the rains and had their best year ever. Drought sensitive species on thin soils were badly hit,  particularly Dark -green Fritillary and Northern Brown Argus but also Ringlet, Green-viened White and Small Heath.  Less drought affected species along with the hottest June on record built even more on gains last year leading to Comma, Brimstone, Holly Blue and most Browns  having a fantastic year reaching all time highs. A increase of 9% overall was mostly due to sheer numbers of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers ment 2023 nearly pipped 2014 as best year in modern times.  Most noticeable was the large differeces between mositure retaining mineral soils of the valleys and thin, dry limestone or sandy soils. A large number of damp grassland, hedgerow and woodland  dominated sites benefitted hugely with 3 sites seeing more than 50% increase . A smaller number of thin, chalky, sandy or craggy sites did badly some down up to 25%.

Calley  had a better year with a good increase on the average.  As on other local sandy sites Small Skipper had a good year.  Whites here and locally had a good year except for Orange tip that favours damp conditions and accounted for half teh gains.  Peacock  here showed some recovery .  Other species tended to follow the county trends with looses in Ringlet in the drought balanced out by big gains for Meadow Brown and Marbled White. along witH Comma and Holly blue that boomed county wide. Al four of these species had their best year ever.


Results 2022

Insufficient data.

Results 2021

Numbers are generally up  particularly the grassland species with Meadow Brown doing well.  

Dingy Skipper and Small Heath were not seen for the last 2 years. 

Marbled White remains at low but consistant numbers