inc. Helenfield LNR
Recorders: Alistair Taylor, Angela Taylor, Stella Craven, Teresa Warbrick Distance: 3590m Walk Time : 1hour 15mins
The transect includes Helenfield Nature Reserve, a wet woodland planted about 20 years ago.
S1 village lane then becomes farm tracks S2 with many of teh commoner garden species plus Common Blue and Holy Blue . S3 headland yielding really good numbers and a particular favourite of teh Small Tortoisehell. Then into intensive agriculture of S5-8 to reach S9 the edge of the reserve and then back through a woodland ride of S10. After S3 most of the action is in Helenfield NR woodland of section S9, the west edge, and S10 through the wide ride with Whites and Browns being particularly numerous along with Comma Peacock and Red Admiral . The White-letter Hairstreak was seen in S9 woodland edge grasslandand has the highest counts of most species and particularly Gatekeeper. S10 is a favourite with Speckled Wood
A massive increase in numbers on this developing site with almost all species increasing. The big winners were Gatekeeper and Speckled Wood which universally boomed across Yorkshire . An increase in Gatekeeper of 10 fold in 3 years is remarkable. Common Blue is also benefitting from the improving habitat and Wall Brown has been returned as has Large Skipper. Holly Blue exploded as it has done universally. Bad news is short but Peacock had a very poor year with only a very small summer generation. Unusually Small Tortoiseshell has nearly held its ground against last years boom and is at very high numbers For most of lowland Yorkshire Tortoiseshells crashed and some sites saw none after June which was the same at this site with the second generation basically 'cancelled' as the first generation hibernated immediatly in the heat. Meadow Brown was well down on the last 2 years but held onto average
As with many transect this year sees a big rise in Gatekeeper numbers as the species recovers from drought in early 2020 but all the browns have benefited to make for the best year so far. As elsewhere the Vanessids have had a bad year particularly Comma apart from the Small Tortoiseshell whose boom these last two years continues. The cabbage whites also had a pretty good year. Unfotunately Wall has not returned. Holy Blue was absent and had a disasterous oear as it did elesewhere. Small Skipper has maintained it numbers after a rapid rise in the last two years but Large Skipper remains absent
2020 saw small skipper creeping in in numbers into Helenfield and the near disappearence of Large Skipper. Small White had a good year and Orange Tip were in good numbers again along the lanes and on the woodland edge. Small Copper had a good 2nd brood. Tortoiseshell and Peacock saw a good rise in the maturing woodland and the Browns maintained rising numbers The migrant Painted Lady and Red Admiral had a poor year