Shipley Station Butterfly Meadow
Shipley Station Butterfly Meadow is a 0.9 hectare plot of land situated at the heart of Shipley Station, West Yorkshire (Grid Reference SE150375). Situated between two car parks and platforms 2 and 5, it is adjacent to the Leeds to Skipton railway line and a short walk from Shipley town centre. Opened by Dr. David Bellamy in 1993, the meadow is a refuge for butterflies and moths, set in an urban habitat and supporting the flowery grassland usually found in a hay meadow. It is natural neutral grassland which has never been seeded. The reserve is owned by Network Rail and managed jointly by Butterfly Conservation and Bradford Urban Wildlife Group.
Over fifty species of plant and tree have been found on the reserve including Sallow, Hawthorn, Birch, Ash, Buckthorn, Bramble, Rosebay Willowherb, Nettle, Bird's-foot Trefoil, Cowslip, Knapweed and various grasses. Also present are St. John's Wort, Meadow Vetchling, Meadow Foxtail and Black Meddick.
There are more than fourteen species of butterfly and moth and the "star" species of the reserve is the Common Blue butterfly. The blue form of the Common Blue female is predominant on the reserve (females are normally brown with a scattering of blue).
Other butterfly species present include Ringlet (which was seen for the first time in 2005), Wall, Orange-tip, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown, Small Copper and Small Skipper. Moths noted to date include Silver Y and Six-spot Burnet, a moth survey of the reserve is being planned.
The site is normally fenced off, however, an open day is held in June - see the events page for further details. Volunteers are always needed for management days in November when the grass is cut, scrub is cleared and trees are pruned using traditional hand tools.
The best way to get to the reserve is by train! Services run from Leeds, Skipton, Settle, Carlisle and Bradford. Grid Reference SE 150 375; Ordinance Survey map 104
10th Jan 2023 We are very sad to announce the death of Susan Stead. Susan has been a stalwart of the Yorkshire branch for nearly 30 years. She was active and very influential in galvanising local conservation action around Keighley & Bradford. She fought campaigns against unsympathetic planning proposals which would impact or destroy the butterflies and natural history around Bradford & Keighley. She was instrumental in preserving areas such as Bingley North and South Bog - the latter which became a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) - which were at risk during the building of the Bingley bypass, the creation of Boar’s Well Urban Wildlife Reserve and the classifying of Trench Meadows below Shipley Glen as an SSSI. At Shipley Station she helped prevent the building over an extensive riparian open space and informal park which enabled the firm establishment of the Marble White (The Yorkshire butterflies symbol) in the middle of an urban area. She was restricted in her activities by not driving and not being computer literate but accomplished an awful lot due to her people skills with a wide circle of friends and her gentle single minded ruthlessness which was her trade mark. Thank You Susan you will be much missed but leaves a lasting legacy at Shipley Station meadow. More on Susan HERE