Browse through our blog posts to find out what life is like at Hoe Grange Holidays along with some great ideas for days out in the Peak District.
Did you know we have a nature reserve for butterflies and wildlife right on our doorstep? Hoe Grange Quarry used to belong to our farm but was sold off many moons ago for quarrying. Take a short walk from your log cabin or glamping pod and you will discover a peaceful haven brimming with wildlife. A fabulous idea for a car free day out - take a picnic with you!
The quarry was disused in the 1970's and over the years has returned to it's natural state; a short limestone grassland rich in flowers. This makes it an ideal nature reserve, particularly for butterflies and moths. Longcliffe Quarries who now own the quarry work together with The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation to maintain and improve the site.
Fluttering butterflies make you think of sunshine, warmth, and meadows full of colourful wildflowers teaming with life. However butterflies are fragile which makes them quick to react to change, so their struggle to survive is a serious warning about our environment.
To date volunteers have recorded 28 species of butterflies at Hoe Grange Quarry. A real success story!
This is fantastic news as areas rich in butterflies and moths are also rich in other invertebrates. These collectively provide a wide range of environmental benefits, including pollination and natural pest control.
Also moths and butterflies are an important element of the food chain and are prey for birds, bats and other insectivorous animals.
The quarry covers 4.75 hectares made up mainly of unimproved grassland that hasn't been reseeded, fertilised or drained. Whilst less 'productive' the soil here supports a huge range of species. There are over 150 species of plants and you will see many thriving flowers including green-winged orchid, snake's head fritillary, bird's-foot trefoil and pasque flower.
The dew pond at the site entrance has been restored providing a haven for water species. The quarry boundaries have taller grasses and woodland. The varied habitats are home to a wide range of insects, which are in turn prey for birds and mammals.
Birds of prey, such as barn owls and kestrels can be found hunting along the margins and adders slither through the grass. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll be amazed what you will find.
Amongst the butterflies are some BAP species (Biodiversity Action Plan) which are conservation priorities because of their rarity and rate of decline. These include the Dingy Skipper, the Wall Brown, and Small Heath.
It’s also fantastic to see that there are some local species including Dark Green Fritillary and the Peak District version of Brown Argus. The most prevalent species is a large colony of Common Blues due to its food plant, Bird's-foot-trefoil, colonising the entire quarry floor.
The Big Butterfly Count is a UK-wide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment simply by counting the amount and type of butterflies.
Download the identification chart and get involved between 14th July and 6th August. Spend just 15 mins watching for butterflies in your chosen spot, record the species you see and upload on the interactive map. Remember it's just as important to record if you don't see any butterflies.
Why not leave the car behind at your cabin or glamping pod and take a short walk to Hoe Grange Quarry? You can explore the different levels and habitats. It's a peaceful, quiet site and you'll be amazed what you will find if you look hard enough! The quarry is also home to a large population of moths.
We hope you have enjoyed our fascinating facts about butterflies. Here at Hoe Grange Holidays we encourage the butterflies and bees by growing flowers in the gardens - it's a win, win - butterflies thrive on the nectar before the flowers are cut, then our holiday guests can enjoy the vibrant scented blooms in their log cabins!
Why not make space in your garden for butterflies and bees by planting flowers to create a pollinators paradise?
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