Maze Park TVWT

Thornaby Middlesborough

Site Description

Recorders: G avin Struthers                      Altitude 7m.     Distance 1800m         Walk Time Approx : 1 hour

Maze Park is a 42-acre urban nature reserve in Middlesbrough on the south bank of the Tees on part of the former Tees Marshalling Yard. It was created by the Teesside Development Corporation and is owned and run by the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. Much of the site has been planted with a variety of broad-leaved trees and there are some lovely wildflower meadows to attract pollinators such as the endangered  Grayling butterfly . There are several large landscaped  mounds composed of Steelworks slag lime rich and very low in nutrients  and similar to dry chalk grassland or sand dune and contain and abundance of herb species including Birds-foot Trefoil  plus areas of bare ground to encourage both Grayling and Dingy Skipper  


S1 starts from the Tees barrage where Essex Skipper are in some quantity  and occasioanl Wall and other grassland species.

S2 enters  a woodland glade  with large numbers of Speckled Wood, Orange Tip and White-letter hairstreak are seen. 

S3 has the highest counts on the path southwards to teh railway  with large quantitie of Birds foot trefoil and has good numbers of Common Blue and dingy Skipper, Smal Skipper but also Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral   and Green viened white and Brimstone bordering the wood. 

S4 goes up the mound onto the plateau 

S5 circles the south side of teh mound and more Dingy Skipper. 

S6 circles the north side of the mound where more trees brings more Speckled Wood

S7 Small Heath appears amongst the grassland species 

S8  Wall brown appear in number plus Grayling

S10 at thefar east end again has large numbers of Dingy Skipper and Common Blue but also Speckled Wood along the shady hedgerows

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%.

Maze Park saw a slight decline in overall numbers against average and tended to follow the county trands with species. The drought sensitive species of Ringlet, Small Heath and GV white  were just a bit bigger losers than the countywide big  winners Speckled Wood , Brimstone Holly Blue and Comma.  Great to see both Grayling and Wall benefitting. 

Transect reports

Results 2022

A better year and close to teh very good year everywhere of 2019. Small and Dingy Skipper had poorer years ands so did most of the Whites which was teh Yorkshire trend. Also In line with elsewhere Orange Tip was up .  Holly blue appeared for the first time and has had a cracking year in Yorkshire and  dispersed.  Comma also had a boom year unlike its other vanessid cousins who suffered in the heat and drought. Speckled wood were up which was almost universal across sites this year and Wall also had a good year in most places and spread to new sites.  Grayling also showed an healthy increase. The other Browns were close to average

Results 2021

2021 was a good year almost as good as 2019. Biggest gainers Wall  and  Small Heath which is similar to other transects in Yorkshire   Small Skippers, Speckled Wood   and Common Blue were up which contrasts to down on most transects.  Red Admiral,  Peacock and Grayling were down . Orange Tip and Brimstone were up similar to most transects.