National Park:  Public Access rights

Site Details:

Recorder:  Jordon Portano Byrne   & Sarah Swallow         Distance:  2481m               Altitude 217m          Walk Time=  1.25 hr.

Hawnby Hill is a steep sided craggy narrow limestone ridge on the western fringe of the Tabular Hills. The base of the craggs on the west side is a favourite with The Duke of Burgundy with Primrose growing among the boulder strewn scree. This ia also a favourite with the Dark Green Fritillary.  On the Heather clad northern slopes bilbery also grows and Green Hairstreak is commonly seen.   


Sections 1-3 and  10+11 tend to be heather moorland while 4- 9 is at the base of the crag.  The Duke of Burgundy is seen in  S6-8,  while the Wall  and Small Copper are seen S9 - 10.  Green Hairstreaks are seen in  S2 and S11,   Dark Green Fritillary in S6-9,  Dingy Skipper in S6-8  Small Heath are best in S8-9 while Comma is seen in 6 , Marbled white are seen in S3 + S9

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%.

Hawnby Hill craggs and steep slopes suffered badly from last years drought with overall numbers down 30% against 5 yr average. Fortunately the Duke of Burgundy came through with  loss similar to the downturn . Countywide site overall numbers were up  but here the drought had a much more profound affect. Drought sensitive Small Heath and Ringlet slipped to less than half and accounted for much of the loses . Dark Fritillary alsosuffered very badly here as it did everywhere along with all the Lycaenids and whites  Dingy Skipper also lost out  on dry sites.  This years hot June suited Meadow Brown and  pefectly and we saw a two thirds jump  and Wall  had there second best year after  2021, surprisingly as on many sites it was well down.  Red Admiral, Comma and Speckled Wood did well and countywide had their best year ever

Transect reports 2020

Results 2022

Overall a very good year with numbers up a quarter  the biggest winners being the Browns . The Dukes were slightly up on last year if a bit down on the average they are about holding their own.  The skippers had a good year including  Dingy Skippers.  Brown Argus as in many places the migratory form had an exceptional year and spread widely.  Small Tortoiseshell was down on  the boom of last year but still good against the average  while Comma boomed  almost universally this year.. not here.  All the Browns had a good year  and although Small Heath was well down on last years boom was still well up on the average and Wall hung on to the big increase seen last year. 

Results 2021

2021 was a relatively good year again beating the next best 2019. Duke of Burgundy was a bit down on its 2019 peak but still up on teh average as were most other species apart from teh two cabbage whites which had a poor year at many locations.  In contrast Speckled wood had a pretty disasterous year, we can only speculate that the drought of spring 2020 has had a lasting affect. Stand out species are wall with  numbers more than doubled along with small heath having its best year for some time. Teh smal tortoisesheel boom continues as it does in most locations. It was one of te few sites to see comma improved as it was apretty disasterous season. Unfortunatly the demise of teh common blue reported last year continues down a qurter of its best in 2019 . Most of teh total increases were in Ringlets nearly doubling and teh site bucked other sites in having a annual increase across all species of near 30% over average

Results 2020 

The early part of the season was dominated by the effects of the pandemics with the first walk when restrictions were lifted in mid-May.  Adjustsments were needed  for the early  period:  Dingy Skipper +8, Orange Tip +5, Green Hairstreak+14, Duke of Burgundy +65, Peacock +18, Speckled Wood, +3 Wall Brown+4 . This was a bit of a guess with the Greenhairstreak already finished and Duke of Burgundy  just past its best on this early site.

Despite the adjustments it was not as good a year as in 2019 for our more common species with Common Blue having a particular disaster. The Browns and Whites  had a poor year although Dingy Skipper was well up as in other locations and Wall and Small Heath suffered less so prefering the fine leaved grasses. The drought conditions would be the most likely culprit on these thin scree soils. However most noticeable is the improvement in Small Tortoiseshells also reported in Yorkshire