Fountains Abbey 

& Studley Royal NT

Site Details: 

Recorders:  Chris Wood and team                       Distance: 1439m          Altitude 105m              Walk Time: 1hr

Grassland, Lake, Parkland, Stream, Woodland habitats are very varied throughout the park. 


S1 commencing in the SE corner of the car parks goes south along the lane and then across the grassland slope  and Meadow Browns mostly and  then Red Admiral near the wooded area. 

S2 we enter more shady grassalnd alongside woodland and Ringlets occur in some number near the river which is favoured by Orange Tip .

 S3 is similar but on the  sunnier south side of woodland and Ringlet are common in the damp grassland.

S4 returns to deep shade pathway  

S5 skirts the river bank and an occasonal Orange Tip and a few Ringlets  

S6  back into woodland is too shady and has nothing. 

S7 to the west of the water garden is has some natural grassland on the slopes and is good for Meadow brown and Ringlet in equal number. S8 descends back into the  woodland. 

S9 enters the open Deer Park and  yields better numbers of Ringlet and Meadow brown  and Small Skippers. 

S10 road hedgeline mostly Speckled Woods

Results:   2023 

County wide 2023 results reflect  the 2022 Heat and 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 moisiture 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%.

Fountains Abbey total numbers were down this year and likely reflects the drought and heat  of 2022  with Ringlet and Small Tortoiseshell were well down as they were countywide sufficient to push numbers negative. Meadow did extremely well like everywhere but not enough to couteract the  above losses  Following  county trends Brimstone was up along with Comma booming. 

Transect reports

Results:   2022

10% down on last year ut mostly due to to reduced numbers of Ringlet. It was a year of big winners and equally big losers. Both the golden Skippers were down as they were on most sites along with the Whites.   Comma  increased 5 fold but the Tortoiseshell suffered some big loses across the county hibernating in June and failed to have a second generation.  Peacocks in some areas suffered even worse but not here. Speckled Wood and Wall both had good years across the county.