Fairburn Ings RSPB
Including Fairburn Ings , Main Heath ,
Lindyke Link, Allerton Ings Riverbank Trail
Shaped by a long history of coal mining, Fairburn Ings protects a mixture of habitats. Wetland areas created by subsidence include open water, wet grassland, reedbed and wet woodland. While other habitats, including dry grassland, deciduous woodland and lagoons, have been restored on the former coal spoil tips.
Altitude 20m length 2461m Walk time approx 1.25 hour
This is an old coal waste site that has been restored at some point in the past and then left unmanaged for a number of years. There is an established walking route through the site, which forms the basis of the transect. Mostly unimproved acid/neatral grasslands with scrub and thickets and unmanaged by RSPB
Main Bay Heath
Recorders: Rachel Tulloch Distance: 1400m Walk time: 1 hour
This is a grassalnd area under restoration over magnesian limestone . There are large areas of scrub.
S1 Grassalnd has good numbers of meadow brown and common blue. S2 has little. S3 is good fro Ringlet and gatekeeper S4+ S5 is very good for Common blue and S5-S6 are best for Large and Small Skippers S8-10 are generally poorer for species until thinks improve in S11
Overall a bit down on the previous 2 years. However its good to see Dingy Skipper feauture. Brimstone numbers well up this year and the county trend was also up while most of the whites were down. Similar to other sites most of the blues and teh vanessids were down. The browns were mixed while on most sites they were well up. In common with elsewhere speckled wood saw a very large increase particularly in September.
Recorders: Rachel Tulloch Distance: 3250 Walk time: 1.5 hours
From the west car park the route follows the north side riverbank of the river Aire
S1 is a mix of graasland and woodland with Speckled Wood most numerous along with Orange Tip. S2-3 grassalnds are favourite of Gatekeeper. S4 finds Dingy Skipper. Patterns are similar to S9 which has more Common Blue and good numbers of Small Skippers , Gatekeeper and Ringlet and most counts of these are higher in S10
Its three years since teh last full year of data to enable an analysis. Certianly numbeers are well down and it is difficult to draw any parallels with the county trends. We can see however that as with most localities Holly Blue had a very good year as did Speckled wood that boomed through September. Although the Whites, Skippers and Vanessids had a bad everywhere it was more so here. On other sites Red admiral and Comma in particular had goood years are less bad here. Although Ringlet held up here Gatekeeper was well down while almost everywhere it boomed.
Recorders: Rachael Tullock Distance: 3000m Walk time: 1.5 hour
From south of Fairburn village the route follows theeast side of Main bay down to teh river aire and then follows teh riverbank Westwards back to the heath and teh visitor centre.
S1 is quiet good for grassalnd species but with floral inteeest for Smal Torstoiseshells S2-S10 is somewhat treelined and favours Speckled Woods. In S11 back on teh heath good grassalnd with teh best section of teh route particularly Meadow Brown and Small Skipper but also gatekeeper.