Spaunton Quarry, Appleton Le Moors Ryenats Trial Study 2014


Spaunton Quarry is a disused limestone quarry west of Appleton Le Moors, SE7187-SE7286.  It measures approximately 1km x 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

Celedine lesser                             Ranunculus ficaria

Centuary common                        Centaurium erythraea

Centuary 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 oxslip                                  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 discolour

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                                     Crateagus 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 serpylifolia

Scarlet pimpernel                         Anagallis arvensis

Sedge carnation                           Carex, panacea

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 serpylifolia

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 oderata

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




|Common cudweed


                            Viper’s buglosssIMG_3774.JPG


                  Common centuary and white form

May 668.jpgIMG_4642.JPG

Hedge bedstraw

May 131.jpg

        Bee orchid

May 677.jpg

Fly orchid                                                        Northern marsh orchid


Marbled white

                                                                                Small skippers coupled


May 119.jpg


Dingy skipper

White letter hairstreak

May 129.jpgMay 672.jpg

                        Clouded silver moth


Common blue

May 683.jpg

                                                Mullein moth caterpillar

13narrowbordered 5 spot burnet.JPG

Cinnabar moth caterpillar on common ragwort

              Narrow-bordered five spot burnet moth just on the wing