Southerscales YWT


Site Description

Recorders:  Roger Neale                                      Distance: 2210m       Walk Time Approx : 30 mins

This stunning nature reserve is perched on the   west side of Ingleborough. It is particularly important for its large areas of spectacular limestone pavement. The cracks, or grykes as they are known, hide a wide variety of special lime-loving plants. The limestone grassland surrounding it is full of butterflies in the spring and summer. 


S1 starts at Southerscale farm heading up teh slope through grassy meadow area .

S2 reachs the base  of teh pavement  and teh highest counts and the favourite area to see  Common Blue Dark -green Fritillary and Small Heath .

S3 is also good for the fritillaries 

S4 has similar but much lower numbers of meadow brown. 

S6 sees an increase in numbers particularly Fritillaries  that continues to S8

Results: 20223

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%.

Southerscale s had insufficient data this year 


Results: 2022 

A dramatic year  with the arrival of Orange Tip, Small Skipper along with teh return of green hairstreaks along with a boom in many species lifted counts 75%!

 In general the site is showing a strong increase after some very poor years in  2016-17  means 2022 could be a record breaker

Green viened white had its best year so far and Common Blue continued to improve on last year to its best year so far. Migrant vanessids were good but after teh huge boom in tortoiseshell the last two years numbers dropped by two thirds. Dark-green fritillary although well down on its  on its peak last year is holding up well. The Browns boomed with Meadow Brown  the biggest wiinner of all  accounting for two thirds of all the improvements  jumped near three fold. Small Heath was slightly down on last year  but still very much on the increase  

Results: 2021

Counts generally improved. Most noticeable were increased Common Blue, Small Heath  and Meadow Brown which nearly doubled. 

Other species were fairly stable  and Dark-green Fritillary may have slightly increased.