Millfield Meadow 


Saltburn Countryside volunteers

Site details

Recorders:   Alison McDermott,  Katie Metcalfe, Rosalyn Boyes, Sue Cook and Katie Simmons      Distance:  775m    Walk Time: 30mins

Millfield Meadow is managed by Saltburn Countryside Volunteers.  It is  wildflower meadow situated near a spectacular viaduct. Home to many butterflies, bees and other insects. It occupies about 1 acre  and the transect mainly criss-crosses the meadow area. 


S1 runs from Marske Mill Lane down a  covered woodland into the valley and joins the cleveand way walk which we follow  through woodland to teh north end of the meadow . 

S3 is the sunniest and favoured  warm bank of the meadow with the largest butterfly counts and is favourite of  Vannesids, Cabbage Whites, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small heath

 S4 a little further down is similar  and is where Dingy Skipper has been seen 

S5 also has good counts  and is favoured by the Vanesids and is similar to S3 It is the favourite places for Large Small Skipper and Small Heath has been seen herein previous years

Entering the woodland rides of S7+8  we see Comma, Brimstone, Orange Tip and Holy Blue.

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%.

Results 2022  

Total numbers were down slightly against the average and there were many more species down than up after the long hot dry summer of 2022.  Most of the trends follow the county with a super year for Brimstone plus good numbers of Red Admiral and  the very best year ever for Meadow Brown and even Ringlet here did well while elsewhere is did badly.  Gatekeeper returned after 9 years and they also had there best year ever county wide. Great to see the Small Heath .  Wall had a poor year everywhere which possibly accounts for it disappearance this year.  

Transect reports 2020

Results 2022  

Millfield saw the best year since 2019's highpoint.  Big Winners were a the Whites particularly brimstone and at last a recovery in the Small Skipper in the heat.  A boom in Comma, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown and Ringlet.  The drought sensitive Small Heath saw a decline along with Common Blue.  Wall Brown persisted after appearing for the first time last year  in common with many other sites  and these species shows strong signs of recovery. 

Results 2021  

2021 was not a bad year with counts up over 2020 but nearly  as high as the exceptional 2019 season. Over the 5 years  Large White , Green-viened White  were well up  although they did not fare so well in other parts of Yorkshire. However  Orange Tip had a good year like most of our transects> Common Blue was rather down much like other places  as were Holy Blue, and all teh Vannessids as were teh majority of transects while Small Tortoiseshell continues to boom. Unusually Small Heath was down which was not typical . The other borwns did show and increase. You can suspect the  increased numbers are as a result of recovery from the 2020  early half of year drought. 

Results 2020

The dull wet summer of 2020 was only partly compensated for by the long hot dry  spring. This  follows the very warm 2019 with exceptional numbers.  Overall numbers are a tad down with outstanding loosers being the Skippers, Common Blue and Ringlet and could be due to the drought conditions  However it did favour the dry loving Small Heath and Small Copper which had a good year . Small Tortoisehell was also up along with most of the Whites.