Swarth Moor SSSI
Dales National Park Open Access
Recorders: Terry Whitaker, Ian Court , Mik Cardus, Mick Lambert, Steve Ryder, Frank Morgan, David Owen Altitude 220m Distance 1540m Walk Time: 45mins
Situated to the south and part of the Ingleborough National Nature Reserve (NNR), Swarth Moor SSSI comprises an area of raised bog, fen and small areas of carr woodland. This is the key site for Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is one of the primary reasons for establishing a transect at this site.
S1 sometimes has very high counts particularly of Ringlets which maybe management dependant and can attract species from other sections
S2 sees the appearance both Dark green and Small Pearl bordered Fritillaries and good counts of Smal lHeath
S3 is damp area and favoured by Green veined white and Orange Tips in particular.
S4 is similar.
S5 favoured by Large Skipper and growing number of SPBF.
S6-7 sees most SPBF
S8-10 grassy area sees the most DGF and Small Skipper
Overall an average year down 3% although with some big differences between the species.
Small Skippe bounced back doubling in numbers enjoying the hot summer while large skipper was a tad down. Whites in general had a poorer season but even so well up on last year. The vanessids were all down but not nearly as much as the majority of sites where they collapsed with no second generation, due to poor nettles.
Both Fritillaries were down drastically to just a quarter of last year. SPBF are still on a steady decline down three quarters over the 20 year monitoring period which is disappointing. Meanwhile DGF as elesewhere in Yorkshire continues to enjoy a rapid long term rise although almost universally they are down this year.
meadow brown Enjoyed a good year as elsewhere and compensated for a good deal of the loses.
Ringlet and Small Heath were very slightly down in line with much of the county.
Small Skipper is much reduced from 2019 peak as was Large Skipper but this is a trend amongst all sites. Common Blue has reappeared but Green Hairstreak was absent this year.
The vanessids did badly apart from Small Tortoiseshell which did well here and boomed on many sites. SPBF is pretty consistant while DGF has greatly increased which is a pattern of the last few years. Small Heath boomed as in many sites while Ringlet faltered. Meadow brown was close to average