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Spaunton Quarry, Appleton Le Moors Ryenats Trial Study 2014

Photos of flowers and insects below. To download a PDF of this paper (approx. 1.6Mb) click here.

Spaunton Quarry is a disused limestone quarry west of Appleton Le Moors, SE7187-SE7286. It measures approximately 1km × 1.5km. About half of the quarry is open access, predominantly the southern half. A public footpath crosses the area east-west. There are two clear excavated areas, the northern area is grassed over and not included in the open access. The southern area is bare ground, some of which is open access. Indeed, the open access runs south to the A170 allowing pedestrian access via here. Although this is the main access to the quarry for vehicles there is no access for public vehicles. Access is also gained via the footpath on the east and west sides and via a track off Gray Lane on the west side running along the south of Spring wood. On the west side of the quarry is a deciduous wooded strip running north-south. There is a dry river bed running north-south on the east of this wooded area. On the east of the quarry there is a conifer plantation as well as more recent deciduous planting. There are a number of spoil heaps. Quarrying stopped approximately 8 years ago.

As expected this area is rich in flora with eight species of orchid although not in great numbers. Key species include eight bee orchids, 17 fly orchids, three northern marsh orchids, nine pyramidal orchids and 11 fragrant orchids. Both adderstongue and common cudweed are two very welcome finds at this site and viper’s bugloss, deadly nightshade and ploughmans spikenard are fairly well represented here.

Slightly surprising is the lack of birdlife although the list is by no means complete. The common buzzard is a frequent sighting with eight observed during one visit. Disappointingly, the sand martins failed to show this year. There has been a good-sized colony here in the last few years, including 2013.

Butterflies, 18 species in total, enjoy the rich flora at the quarry. Marbled white, dingy skipper and white-letter hairstreak were particularly interesting to see.

The study was undertaken by one member of Ryenats as a trial, focusing mainly on flora and butterflies during April-September with approximately two visits per month. It also included data collected on the Ryenats outdoor meeting here on 18 May. The study is by no means complete. Further visits by specialists in each field are likely to add to this data.


Adderstongue Ophioglossum vulgatum
Agrimony Agrimonia eupatoria
Alder Alnus glutinosa
Ash Fraxinus excelsior
Avens water hybrid Geum rivale x urbanum
Avens wood Geum urbanum
Basil wild Clinopodium vulgare
Bedstraw heath Galium saxatile
Bedstraw hedge Galium mollugo
Bedstraw lady’s Galium verum
Bird’s foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus
Black meddick Medicago lupulina
Blackthorn Prunus spinosa
Bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Bracken Pteridium aquilinum
Bramble Rubus fruticosus agg.
Bugle Ajuga reptans
Burdock lesser Arctium minus
Buttercup bulbous Ranunculus bulbosus
Buttercup creeping Ranunculus repens
Buttercup meadow Ranunculus acris
Celandine lesser Ranunculus ficaria
Centaury common Centaurium erythraea
Centaury common white Centaurium erythraea
Cinquefoil creeping Potentilla reptans
Cleavers Galium aparine
Colt’s foot Tussilago farfara
Common rock rose Helianthemum nummularium
Common twayblade Listera ovata
Cowslip Primula veris
Crane’s-bill cut-leaved Geranium dissectum
Crane’s-bill dove’s-foot Geranium molle
Crosswort Cruciata laevipes
Cudweed common Filago vulgaris
Daisy Bellis perennis
Dandelion Taraxacum agg.
Deadly nightshade Atropa belladonna
Dock curled Rumex crispus
Dock wood Rumex sanguineus
Dogs mercury Mercurialis perennis
Elder Sambucus nigra
Elm wych Ulmus glabra
Enchanter’s nightshade Circaea lutetiana
Eyebright Euphrasia agg.
Fairy flax Linum catharticum
False oxlip Primula x polyantha
Fern broad buckler Dryopteris dilatata
Fern lady Athyrium filix-femina
Fern male Dryopteris filix-mas
Field madder Sherardia arvensis
Figwort common Scrophularia nodosa
Forget-me-not changing Myosotis discolor
Forget-me-not field Myosotis arvensis
Forget-me-not wood Myosotis sylvatica
Foxglove Digitalis purpurea
Grass brome false Brachypodium sylvaticum
Grass cocksfoot Dactylis glomerata
Grass crested dogstail Cynosurus cristatus
Grass tufted hair Deschampsia caespitosa
Grass Yorkshire fog Holcus lanatus
Gorse Ulex europaeus
Great mullein Verbascum thapsus
Ground ivy Glechoma hederacea
Guelder rose Viburnum opulus
Hawkweed mouse-ear Pilosella officinarum
Hawthorn Cratargus monogyna
Hedge woundwort Stachys sylvatica
Herb robert Geranium robertianum
Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium
Holly Ilex aquifolium
Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum
Knapweed common Centaurea nigra
Lady’s mantle Alchemilla vestita
Lesser trefoil Trifolium dubium
Lord and ladies Arum maculatum
Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria
Milkwort common Polygala vulgaris
Moschatel Adoxa moschatellina
Mouse-ear common Cerastium fontanum
Mullein great Verbascum thapsus
Nettle stinging Urtica dioica
Orchid bee Ophrys apifera
Orchid common spotted Dactylorhiza fuchsii
Orchid common twayblade Listera ovata
Orchid early purple Orchis mascula
Orchid fly Ophrys insectifera
Orchid fragrant Gymnadenia conopsea
Orchid northern marsh Dactylorhiza purpurella
Orchid pyramidal Anacamptis pyramidalis
Oxeye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare
Parsley piert Aphanes arvensis
Pearlwort procumbent Sagina procumbens
Pignut Conopodium majus
Plantain ribwort Plantago lanceolata
Ploughman’s spikenard Inula conyzae
Poppy welsh Meconopsis cambrica
Primrose Primula vulgaris
Ragwort Senecio jacobaea
Ramsons Allium ursinum
Raspberry Rubus idaeus
Red bartsia Odontites vernus
Red campion Silene dioica
Red clover Trifolium pratense
Rosebay willowherb Chamerion angustifolium
Rush hard Juncus inflexus
Sandwort three-nerved Moehringia trinervia
Sandwort thyme-leaved Arenaria serpyllifolia
Scarlet pimpernel Anagallis arvensis
Sedge carnation Carex panicea
Sedge glaucous Carex flacca
Sedge pale Carex pallescens
Sedge pill Carex pilulifera
Sedge spring Carex caryophyllea
Sedge star Carex echinata
Sedge wood Carex sylvatica
Selfheal Prunella vulgaris
Sheep’s sorrel Rumex acetosella
Silverweed Potentilla anserina
Sow thistle prickly Sonchus asper
Speedwell germander Veronica chamaedrys
Speedwell heath Veronica officinalis
Speedwell thyme-leaved Veronica serpyllifolia
Speedwell wall Veronica arvensis
Speedwell wood Veronica montana
St John’s-wort hairy Hypericum hirsutum
Stitchwort lesser Stellaria graminea
Stork’s-bill Erodium cicutarium
Strawberry barren Potentilla sterilis
Strawberry wild Fragaria vesca
Sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus
Teasel Dipsacus fullonum
Thistle creeping Cirsium arvense
Thistle marsh Cirsium palustre
Thistle musk Carduus nutans
Thistle spear Cirsium vulgare
Thistle welted x1 Carduus crispus
Toadflax common Linaria vulgaris
Tormentil Potentilla erecta
Vetch common Vicia sativa
Vetch tufted Vicia cracca
Vetchling meadow Lathyrus pratensis
Violet common dog Viola riviniana
Violet early dog Viola reichenbachiana
Violet hairy Viola hirta
Violet sweet Viola odorata
Vipers Bugloss Echium vulgare
White clover Trifolium repens
Whitlowgrass common Erophila verna agg.
Wild thyme Thymus polytrichus
Willowherb broadleaved Epilobium montanum
Willowherb great Epilobium hirsutum
Woodrush field Luzula campestris
Wood sorrel Oxalis acetosella
Yarrow Achillea millefolium
Yellow pimpernel Lysimachia nemorum


Blue tit
Lesser whitethroat
Sand martin 2013 but not seen in 2014
Willow warbler


Common blue
Hairstreak white-letter
Marbled white
Meadow brown
Orange tip
Skipper dingy
Skipper large
Skipper small
Small copper
Small heath
Small tortoiseshell
Speckled wood
Wall brown
White large
White green veined

Other insects

Cinnabar moth and caterpillars
Mullein moth caterpillar
Clouded silver moth
Red and black frog hopper
Bee fly
Narrow-bordered five spot burnet moth
Six spot burnet moth
Green shield bug


Please click on eaxh photo to see a larger version (in a separate tab).

common cudweed
Common Cudweed
vipers bugloss
Viper’s Bugloss
vipers bugloss
Viper’s Bugloss (detail)
common centaury
Common centaury (typical form)
common centaury (white)
Common centaury (white form)
hedge bedstraw
Hedge bedstraw

Northern marsh orchid
fly orchid
Fly orchid
bee orchid
Bee orchid
marbled white butterfly
Marbled white butterfly
small skipper butterflies coupled
Small skipper butterflies coupled
white letter hairstreak butterfly on elm
White letter hairstreak butterfly on elm
dingy skipper butterfly
Dingy skipper butterfly
clouded silver moth
Clouded silver moth
common blue butterfly
Common blue butterfly
mullein moth larva
Mullein moth caterpillar
cinnabar moth larvae
Cinnabar moth larvae on common ragwort
narrow-bordered 5-spot burnet moth just emerged
Narrow-bordered five spot burnet moth just on the wing

© Ryedale Natural History Society 2014 Back to the Home page