Srensall Common + World's End

MOD + Church Commisioners and Forestry Commision


Site Details

Parts manged by YWT

Recorders: Terry Crawford, Richard Baker, Yves Bouvet, Penny Relf Distance: 3160m Walk Time Approx: 1hour 15mins

World’s End, to the West of Strensall Common in York, is a SINC with a mosaic of fen meadow, acidic grassland, heathland and pond habitats. Over the last few years, the area has become increasingly overgrown with birch scrub, and the rich habitat is of concern. So Freshwater Habitats Trust and the Yorkshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation started a program of work days to tackle the problem. For Lepidoptera, the main aim is maintain a mosaic of grassland and short- to medium-height scrubby patches. Thus Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) like coarse grassland, and Gatekeeper caterpillars live on grasses but the adult butterflies like nearby sunny scrub and hedgerows. Strensall Common is the only known English site for the Dark Bordered Beauty (Epione vespertaria), an RDB species that is currently threatened, and World’s End might provide habitat for new colonies.


S1-S2 sections are managed by YWT and grazed and consists of heathland with wet areas of sedge and fen

S3 you are entering an area of dry scrub and recently felled area where scrub has been cleared.

S4 crosses into Worlds End and more dry unimproved grassland with large numbers recorded including some of the specialists ie Small Copper, BrownArgus Common Blue and Dingy Skipper.

S5 is a bit more heath passing a large section of mixed conifers and deciduous woodland and

S6 is wet and marshy grassland

S7 is more heathland with scattered trees and afavorite of teh Lareg Skipper

S8 has large counts and is heath and some mature woodland is a favourite for Marbled Whites and Green viened white and Ringlets but also the Skippers

S9 is heath and is dominated by Small Heath and a colony of Green Hairstreaks

2021 Results

Overall the site had its best year so far up 16% on average and there are signs of management improvements particularly in the YWt area.This could be the result of less grazing by sheep.

Species trends are fairly similar to elsewhere and with equal numbers of loosers and winners. While Smal Skipper gained, Large Skipper had a very poor year, similar to elsewhere, which could be as a result of the after affects of last years drought; Large Skipper being a damp lover. All three white species were well down while in common with elsewhere Orange Tip was universally up. It is good to see better management benefitting Common Blue and Small Coper which pretty much everywhere else was down. The Vannessids had a poor year. The Marbled White remains fairly static while up elsewhere. Speckled Dood was down, as elsewhere, and another species still feeling the affects of last years drought. All the browns had good years which accounts for most of the overall gain in total count on the site. On other sites, Gatekeeper and Small Heath had a boom year which we suspect is a result of recovery from last spring's drought.

Transect reports 2020

2020 Results

2020 seems to be a better than average year with the highest scores so far over the 4 years the transect has been in operation which is encouraging. There are a few loosers In particular Marbled White and Speckled wood common Blue and gatekeeper but this has been seen on other transects which may be down to teh drought in spring 2020. In contrast the winners were Small Skipper , large Whites Peacock and Teh Small tortoiseshell had a boom year.