Chalk Banks

Located in a dry Yorkshire Wolds valley this rare surviving area of unimproved chalk grassland has very healthy populations of Dingy Skipper, Wall and Marbled White. Its steep south facing slopes are situated just to the east of the village of Fordon in East Dale. Rock rose abounds making it a favourite site to see Brown Argus. As a Butterfly Conservation Yorkshire reserve the branch assists in the management of this important privately owned site, allowing access to members. It is home to many other species of butterfly, moths and other wildlife and our work parties regularly carry out work to help improve the habitat.  Be aware of sheep grazing and dogs are not allowed

Key Species:  Dingy Skipper    May,   Brown Argus:  (Rockrose form) May & August   Wall    May & AugustMarbled White:  July  Small Heath: May-September

Parking : Is at the entrance and park safely on the verge avoiding obstructing the farm access.

Postcode: YO25 3HT    Grid Ref. TA052751

Site Champion  :  Allan Rodda  (Branch Conservation Officer)  01723 365960   

Transect Walker:  Kerry Metcalfe

Conservation Update February 2020

    Sightings at  our reserve at Fordon Chalk Banks, Filey in 2019 showed all species doing well.  It is an important site for Wall as well Dingy Skipper and even a Dark green Fritillary was seen last year. We made a good start to our conservation management  schedule but then had to cancel twice due to storms. However, we have achieved three really good weeks work.  We are taking on a big challenge of the second field eastwards after making a small start last year. It would nearly double the area we care for and the quality of the herbage is almost equally as good. The hawthorn scrub had really got going in the intervening year so the team, boosted by more fresh volunteers has made good progress. More than half the field was cleared before we moved onto Yatts.                


   In early February we combining forces with Dragonfly and Freshwater Habitat groups and headed to Boltby Reservoir near Thirsk. Yorkshire water have decommissioned the site and dropped the water level and sown the exposed banks with wildflower seed which has established well but has suffered with Larch saplings getting established along with Birch, Sallow and Firs, Over the last few years the west side has been cleared and maintained to keep the sward short for a good population of Dingy skipper plus a good array of dragonfly species. We completed the west side and moved  to the more challenging east side which has not been touched with sapling trees now 20 foot. Care was needed not to clear too much too quick and let in brambles etc but very good progress was made with a large team of volunteers along with a representative from Yorkshire water who was made welcome

   The team has been badly hampered by the weather to the point we have lost a whole months work to rain and storms. It seems to be bad luck named storms always  arrive on a  Sunday! The saving grace is we have had near double the number of helpers which has partly compensated for so many lost days, but the team is a little disheartened by what we might have achieved.  Thank you to all those volunteers who have joined us especially all those new folk.