East Cottingwith Nr York

Site Details:

Recorder: Fiona Bruce                        Distance:   2200m        Walk Time approx:  1hour 15mins

This vergeside transect was created to monitor the villages verge maintenance project designed to increase wildflowers  and thus biodiversity. 


S1 is a small grassy area at the edge of the village which shows no particualr species favouring.

 S2 and S3  Verges are favoured by Orange Tips and Holy Blue  

S3 is favoured by Ringlet, Gatekeepe,r  Small Skipper and Small White

S4 is best for Common Blue  and large numbers of Meadow Browns.


2022 Results

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%.

Langrickgate saw a very large increase in numbers this year one of our largest in teh county. This  largely hedgerow survey shows how just a littel bit of shade has saved many from last years burning heat and led to a boom that largely follows the county trends just plus some. For example Gatekeeper doubled over its previous highest  as did Speckled Wood , Meadow Brown contributed most to the enhanced numbers  being double its 5 year average.  Great also to see Small Skipper flourish after many years of not so good numbers. Even Marbled white turned up this year and who would believe that species is now quite well established at low number in the Vale of York and is  seen regularly. NB this is a national trend and consequence of our warming world.

Transect reports 2020

2022 Results

Good to see counts up on this site as most sites are close to average making 2022  the best year yet by a good percentage.   The Skippers and the Cabbage whites were up but Brimstone and Orange Tip  are somewhat down which is contrary the county trends . Brown Argus is up which is very much the county trend this year as is Speckled wood  which boomed in September. The Vanessids however are very much down particularly Peacock  which is very much the county trend suffering very badly in the heat and drought. The Browns were all very much up as was teh county trend but particularly Gatekeeper which boomed on almost every site. Longer term the Browns are showing a steady rise which might reflect changes in how the verges are managed

2021 Results

Despite the vagaries of the weather and Most transect being down Langrickgate on fell back very slightly and has been a consistant performer over its three years of operations which is an achievement with 2019 being such an exceptional year for many transects. There have been changes but they tend to balance out Brimstome and gatekeepr had very good years which matches teh experionce on many transects  and smal tortoishell continues to boom rising sharply again as with most transects . The othe rbrowns had a OK year but green viened white showed an increase. Speckled wood decreased as it did elsewhere. Small and Large skipper bucked the Yorkshire trend and increased here

2020 Results

Overall  7 species showed and increase and 8 species a decrease  so a mixed fortunes.  This is probably a good result over such a short period as most transects were down in 2020 compared with the long hot summer of 2019. A lareg decreace after the hot conditions of 2019 folowed by a mild extremely wet winter, extremely warm dry spring into a variabel sometimes wet summer of 2020 and species oscillated asa result. So to maintain numbers is good. 

 Numbers were almost identical over the first two years but there have been changes.  The cabbage whites were up somewhat along  with Small Tortoiseshells s but not as much as many other sites where there wer large increases. Large Skippers and Speckled Woods were up in contrast to other sites although similar to nearby  damp site at Bishop Wood.  There was a strong decrease in Ringlet and  of course the migratory Painted Lady and Red Admiral  and there was also  smaller decreases in Small Copper Common Blue Green viened white and Small Skipper which is similar to bishop Wood and other sites Gatekeeper was also down a tad which matchs other sites.  

2022 Results