Forest of Flowers,
Private Biodiversity Project
Recorders: David and Ann Rhodes, Jess Chappell and Alwyn Craven Altitude 20m Distance: 3020m. Walk Time 1-1.5hours
Forest of Flowers Huby, York is a priavte nature reserve previously a farm devoted to restoring nature and is the vision of Alwyn Craven. This poorer quality land proved agriculturally unproductive and the big decision was made not to farm. After deep inversion ploughing to a depth of 1 metre to bring the subsoil to the surface this new 74-acre woodland and wildflower meadow was planted in 2015. The project has planted 42,000 trees and shrubs, along with 35 native wildflower species and now has a specialised wetalnd arae (near s3) with 15 ponds. Only the original pasture field (S1) has been retained
Section 1 starts near th house with a mix of garden and then woodland edge of the old pasture field which had the largest counts of Ringlet and Meadow Brown and Small Skipper.
Into s2 and we start to see Common Blue in more numbers due to the quantity of Bird foot trefoil but also Large Skipper enjoys the longer grasses.
S3 is more woodland and hedge with a big peak in Speckled Wood .
S4 along the east side of the hedgeline is the particualr favourite of the Gatekeeper and all the other browns but also Peacocks.
S5 is similar but the Smal Tortoiseshells favourite.
S6 is the favourite of both the cabbage whites.
Wall has been seen in S7
Counts are down 15% this year mostly as a results of both Meadow Brown and Ringlet being down which bucks the trend in Yorkshire where mostly sites have see increases. Gatekeeper was, however, up as it was pretty much universally and great to see Marbled White appear for the very first time but not surprised as it seems to have popped up in some numbers in what appears to be a big dispersal year.
Wall Brown also appeared in numbers after the very first last year. This is also had a good year in many places which is good news for a endangered species . The Tortoiseshell and Peacock had a bad year universally. The skippers were alos pretty much universally down across the county while Orange Tip and Brimstone showed increases in most localities. Good to see an increase in Common Blue and Small Copper which have had poor years in recent times
Overall numbers were down somewhat especially the Skippers and the Whites and the Vanessids which is not unlike most transects this year. Mainatining their numbersor improving were Brimstone and orange tips which is in accordance with other transects Most encouraging is teh big increase in common blue which bucks the trends ekleswhere and is very welcome. Gatekeeper also saw a large increase as were ringlets and togther compensated for the losses elewhere.