Nosterfield Quarry NR

West Tanfield

Owned and manage d by The Lower Ure Conservation trust 

Site Details 

Recorders: Emma Higgs        Distance 3052m       Altitude   41m          Walk Time 40mins

Nosterfield Nature Reserve is 150 acres of wet grassland and open water situated between the rivers' Ure and Swale.   It is the underlying magnesian limestone and its associated aquifer which makes the location special and one of the best wetland grasslands in North Yorkshire. There is a dramatic rise and fall in the water levels, associated with the natural water table and rainfall, resulting in typically 2.5 m per year.  Sand and gravel were produced from a former quarry here until the late 1980s. It was designated a reserve in 2001 and is the only Local Nature Reserve (LNR) in the Hambleton District.  


S1 is an old fields system with the usual grassland species and Orange Tip

S2 has by far the highest counts and  is partly woodland edge and abounds with Ringlet, Speckled Wood and a few Vanessids particularly Red Admiral and occasional Holy Blue and Orange Tip

S3 we pass between the two lakes with exposed  Limestone  and good number of Brown Argus Brimstone Comma and even Small Heath and Wall are seen.

S4 also has Brown Argus and Brimstone S% is similar with small counts

S4  is good for grassland species and damp areas favour Green viened white an dringlet

Results:  2022

Total counts are somewhat down this year by 24% and we can guess the drought and heat has had quite an affect. Our dryer sites certainly seem more affected thatn woodland or mineral soils. However teh trends show a good degree of similarity with the rest of Yorkshire.  In many sites all the whites were down  but the Orange tip was pretty universally up as here.  Its good to see teh White letter Hairstreak  and smal coppers this year whiel they were absent last year.   Brown Argus on Rockrose did not have such a good year  and the drought seems to be the major factor.  In contrast on many sites teh migratory Cranebill form had an exceptional year appearing on many new sites in addition. Great to see Common Blue for the first time. and Holly Blue as with universally all sites had a boom year although the summer generation was somewhat lower.  

The vanessids had a universally poor year  apart from Comma that bounced back to have one of its best ever years. We think that poor nettle quality in teh heat and drought caused  them not to produce a second summer gneration and opt to go straight into hibernation. Comma in contrast prefering shady nettles had a huge summer generation  and then a smaller second generation.  

Amongst the browns Meadow brown was up as on many sites but  teh more damp loving Ringlet on thsi site was quiet a bit down. 


Results:  2021

Its great to have such a good start with Brown Argus recorded in large numbers on a lowland site which is almost unheard of  so the Rockrose has established well and this species is using it in preference to Cranesbills  which the migratory form of Brown Argus much prefers.  Its also great to see both Wall and Small Heath;  both species are making a bit of a come back with Small Heath in particlar booming in teh last few years and Wall appearing in low numbers in many more locations in lowland north of York.