Summer butterflies and moths

Peacock butterfly on heather

With a wide variety of habitats from moorland to woodland, there are plenty of places to spot butterflies and moths at Longshaw. The best time to come is on a sunny day, when you might also see dragon and damselflies.

The easiest place to look for them is the wildflower meadow right next to Woodcroft car park.  As you arrive, why not park on the left hand side, and take a wander down the meadow?  You might spot a common blue butterfly, a small white, or a garden tiger caterpillar. 

Small white butterfly on field scabious

Another butterfly hotspot is the kitchen garden.  Tucked just behind the tea-room in a lovely sheltered spot, it’s definitely worth a look.  The rare green hairstreak has recently been spotted in there.

Grouse Inn Fields, which has a footpath through it leading to the Grouse Inn.  Situated right next to Hay Wood car park the fields are managed carefully for wildflowers.  Because most butterflies and moths often have just one plant that they prefer, the diversity of wildflowers in these meadows creates great habitat for a wide variety of butterflies.  For example, ragwort attracts the brightly coloured cinnabar moth, and the six spot burnett moth loves buttercups.

Six spot burnett moth

Look on the edges of woodland for the speckled wood butterfly, which perform at territorial twirling dance to warn off any intruders.

On the moors, the green hairstreak is attracted to bilberry plants.  This small butterfly displays gorgeous colouring of iridescent metallic green.  Or you may spot a stunning peacock butterfly.

Peacock butterfly on heather