There are colonies at Spurn NNR which seems a somewhat untypical habitat comprising a line of sand dunes sandwiched between the Sea and the Humber Estuary. There are also colonies found up to 300m in sheltered valleys west of Sheffield and on moors above Huddersfield and Ripponden (all VC63), and up to 450m in the Stang forest (VC65). The species is one of the most common in the Yorkshire Dales and on the North Yorkshire Moors where additional rainfall gives rise to plenty of suitably damp areas.
The species is resident and there are usually two overlapping broods (April to June and June to August); with a small partial third brood in warmer years.
Higher areas may only produce one brood (June and July) and single brooded populations are thought to remain single brooded even in warmer years which is something that could be researched further, especially in the Dales (VCs64/65). Single brooded populations are also thought to be more sedentary than their lowland cousins. Although Green-veined Whites are less mobile than Small and Large Whites, the double-brooded variety does wander and, although not generally considered migratory, occasional long-distance movements may occur. Sudden build-ups sometimes happen at traditional migration hotspots along Yorkshire's east coast and this also deserves more study.
Drought years are known to be a problem, but it has shown itself able to spring back within a year or two of any losses. Nonetheless, global warming is of potential concern, particularly for the one-generation upland form.
By tetrad count this species is the second most widespread Yorkshire species after the Small Tortoiseshell. Site counts can be up to 250 at Spurn NNR.
It is found throughout British Isles except Shetland. Outside Britain it is found from north west Africa to northern Scandinavia and eastward across Asia and North America.