Duck Street Quarry 9th August 2014

IMG_6288eNine members met Colin at Pateley Bridge car park, from where we continued to the privately owned, disused quarry near Greenhow.  In the past, limestone was quarried here and towards the end of the last century it was bought to manage the flowers and butterflies that thrive there.

Unfortunately it was a very windy afternoon but the rain held off and we were able to walk round the whole site.  Despite the conditions we saw a total of nine butterfly species – at least 25 Small Tortoiseshells and 20 Common Blues, with smaller numbers of Peacock, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, and Small Heath. Finally when we had nearly given up hope we saw four Dark Green Fritillaries amongst the knapweed on a sheltered sunny bank.

Common Blue

Common Blue

Frog and Common Spotted Orchids had faded, as had the Common Twayblades, but the Autumn Gentians were just opening and there were quite a few Sandwort plants, a speciality of the quarry.Entrance to adit

We had excellent views of a Spotted Flycatcher catching and devouring a Peacock butterfly. We also saw Linnet, Buzzard, Kestrel and more than 15 Goldfinches.

Sandwort

Sandwort

On the north face of the quarry the entrance to an old adit was visible – a relic of the past lead-mining industry, and good examples of the calcite and barytes minerals associated with the lead veins could be seen.  (All photos by Robert and Cynthia Chandler)

Many thanks to Colin for an informative afternoon and a chance to see a site not normally open to the public.

Cynthia and Robert Chandler


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