Wetlands YWT

Site Details

Recorders:   Geoff Blakesley ,  Jennifer Rydzewski                      Distance : 1524     Walk Time:  1 hour

Recently acquired by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, this area of lakes (former gravel workings) and surrounding reedbeds is a favourite birdwatching site. It also has good grassland areas  for butterflies.


S1- S3 contain  commoner grassland species 

S4  is a favourite with Gatekeeper 

S5 damper areas are great for Orange Tip and all the White species

S6  Long grasses are a favourite with the skippers, Gatekeeper and Peacock  

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%.

Ripon Wetlands saw a very large increase in overall numbers across a broad range of species mostly following the county trends. The Big losers were Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell and amongst the whites.  There were  explosions of Meadow Browns  and  Gatekeeper doubling up on a good year last year.   Even the drought sensitive species here seemed much less affected than elsewhere . Great to see a Dark-green Fritillary make an appearance and Common Blue stage a recovery.

Transect reports

Results 2022

Although nearly an average year it is  just slightly down with some big winners and losers! The skippers were big losers as unusually  was Brimstone which was a tad up in most places.  Apart from  the Large Whites the whites were mostly down with only Orange Tip increasing which matches with the county trends. Holly blue was seen in numbers for the first time and this is in line with other places where it has reappeared after a absence of a few years. As with the county all the vannesids were down apart from Comma  that more than doubled and was one of the big winners. Also winners were Speckled Woods and all the Browns.