Roundhay Leeds

Site Description

Recorders: Neera Johnson                             Distance 1200m         Walk Tiime approx:  45mins

The route follows the footpath north from the Leeds ring road and the exit from Roundhay Park and  finishs at the village. The beck feeds  the lakes in roundhay


 S1 follows the beckside northwards and is very shaded  so favoured by Green-viened White, Speckled Wood but alos White-letter hairstreak are seen on Elms here. S2-3 is improved Hay flield with low counts  

S4 skirts the side of a  less improved meadow and yield plenty of Green viened whites  but also Gatekeepers and Large Skipper. S5 is similar as is S6 which is the favourite for Orange tIp  and Small White and Ringlet

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%.

Roundhay Shadwell  has seen a consistant rise in overall numbers across the years and this year was by far the best.  Hedgerows in the wider countryside seemed to see some of the largest increase reflecting these area benefitted much from last years heat but less from  the extreme drought. Even so quite a few species were down including  drought sensitive Ringlet and Green-viened White . Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown accounted for most of the gains but not forgetting Comma boomed along with Red Admiral and Small Skipper. 

Transect reports

Results 2022

This site stands out with a massive increase in numbers near 40%  and over 60% up on last year.  we see some huge increases in our common grassland species particularly Meadow Borwn and Ringlet.  Skipper numbers remain low but much better than last year.  Large White like most locations is well down.  Small white in certain locations has had an exceptional good year but is very patchy .  orange tip and Brimstone were down unlike other sites where both were somewhat up . Holly blue boused back after  and absence of 2 years very similar to other locationsPeacock was half and numbers in teh summer were very poor indeed.  Small Tortoishell numbers were extremely good early on  but only two were seen after teh end of june while Peacock  none were seen after mid may . Comma although absent from emergance after hibernation had a very good summer generation but then disapeared, this pattern among the vanessids was repeated on many sites indicating heat stress and poor nettles. Speckled wood was 3 times last year and this matchs teh county trend as did teh rest of the browns gatekeeper boomed nearly doubling. 

Results 2021

Small skipper has gone absent for 2 years now  although Large skipper is maintaining its numbers . Brimstone is also not been sighted for 2 years. Similar to elsewhere  Large White is down but Small and Green viened whites are well up reflecting the damp summer.  Unusually Orange Tip is down where on most transects they were up.  Peacock showed a strong increase also in contrast with most sites. Comma is well down similar to elsewhere. Speckled Woods are also down somewhat  and the browns usually the most  common species are well down. 

Overall  the lowest counts for some years and 11% below the average.