At Fernilee Reservoir, you can find the Dark Green Fritillary and Ringlet butterfly.
This is probably the closest site to the Cheshire borders for the Dark Green Fritillary. The Fernilee colony have less dense and smaller markings than most examples of this butterfly. There are other Ringlet colonies in Cheshire, but the combination of the two quite close to Whaley Bridge make this site an excellent venue.
Key species: Dark Green Fritillary, Ringlet
Best time to see them: End of June to mid-July
Facilities: Toilets and disable access
From the north, take the A5004 out of Whaley Bridge towards Buxton. From Buxton, drive north up Long Hill (A5004). About 5 miles from Whaley Bridge (or 2 miles from Buxton) take a turn (Goyt's Lane) which is signposted "Goyt Valley". Drive down into the valley for about 2 miles, looking for stone-built public toilets on your right adjacent to a parking place; park here.
- Parking: SK018758
- To find Ringlet: SK017758
- To find Dark Green Fritillary: SK015760
A few yards from the parking place a grass triangle slopes downhill; this has a Ringlet colony. Follow the path downhill to the reservoir. The most reliable spot for Dark Green Fritillary is the cluster of flowers on the bank of the reservoir where they feed on nectar, though they also fly all around this area as well as the flat sward between the two reservoirs.
This site also has both Small and Large Skippers and Meadow Browns in season.