Scar Close NNR

Dales National Park



Site Details 

Recorders:  Andrew Hinde + Terry Whitaker                              Length 2389m           Walk Time: 45mins

Within the Ingleborough National Nature Reserve, the transect goes across Scar Close, at the north west slopes of Inglebrough.  An area of sparsely wooded limestone pavement supporting a wide diversity of calcareous grassland species. The site is unique in having areas of peat on the pavement that support more acidic tolerant species. The transect was established primarily for Northern Brown Argus but in recent years has had a large colony of Dark-green Fritillary. The discovery of Small Pearl- bordered Fritillary in 2007 highlights the importance of the transect monitoring approach for some of the key butterfly species in the upland 


S1 is dominated by Green-viened White

S2 is the favourite for Dark-green Fritillary  but is also seen throughout

S3 is favourite with Peacock and Northern Brown Argus is seen

S5 is favourite of Small Pearls  along with S8  but also seen throughout

S9  is also a favourite for the Vannesids  

S10 owards most species present at lower levels

Results 2023  limited data

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%.

Scar close produced very limited data for the second year. We can be fairly sure Northern Brown Argus was likely down but not a disaster but continues its slow declien and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary had  another good year and this species is much improved  over the last 4 years.  We need a good year of data to be sure of these important trends on this valuable site with 20 years of  good recording. 


Results 2021  2022  limited  data

Although the data has too many gaps to have alot of certainity  we can see the skippers have gone absent this year along with Orange tips.  Peacocks are very much lower. Overal counts compared to the peak in 2019 are about half  largely as a result of this and of course the Painted Ladies that year. You can also guess that Dark Green fritillary and the Small Pearls are also holding well.. if not increasing.  

Longer term we can see a very strong improvement in the SPBF and a equally strong decrease in the Dark green Fritillary.  Northern brown Argus is showing a slow decline  along with an even steeper decline in Common Blue .  Overall numbers of al species is upwards in common with all our monitored sites. The repacements for teh Lycaenids are all  grassland species  starting with a sharp improvement in Small heath from 2015  meadow brown and Ringlet began to appear in increasing numbers each year along with Green Hairstreak. Almost all species suffered catastrphic losses in summer 2017