Key species: Green Hairstreak, Wall Brown
Best time to see them: May for Green Hairstreak, late May-June and late July-August for Wall Brown
Description: The hilltop area is exposed to Western winds and so butterflies tend to be found in sheltered micro-climates created by the quarrying. Large and Small skippers, Common blue and Small heath can be found in these areas. Green hairstreak inhabit the bilberry, but again in sheltered areas. Ringlets are now widespread on the site during the summer and all the other common species can be found.The prominent viewpoints at the Southern end (by a seat and information board) and at the summit (by the stile/shelter) are lekking sites for Wall Brown butterflies. The summit area also attracts migrating butterflies such as Painted ladies and Red admirals. Lower down the Southern slopes, the deciduous woods provide shelter for many species and the wet flushes, halfway down the hill, are especially popular with Green-veined whites and Orange tips in the Spring when Cuckoo flowers are blooming. Overall, some 23 species of butterfly have been recorded at Tegg's Nose.
You can take a circular tour of the hilltop (mostly easy walking on good paths) which provides wonderful views as well as the butterflies. There is the option of extending the walk by walking down the Southern slope into the woods before looping back up again (this is much more strenuous walking and good boots are required). Allow 1-2 hours for a circuit of the top and 2-3 hours if you intend to take the extension.
Walk back out of the carpark entrance and turn immediately left, taking a fenced lane into the Country Park. Exit the gate at the end of the lane and turn left up the steps (alternatively, loop round to the right, in order to avoid the steep steps, rejoining in a couple of hundred yards). The small, overgrown quarry area in front of you generally shelters a small colony of Green Hairstreak in the Spring.
Re-emerging from the quarry, turn right and walk around the Eastern edge of the hilltop on a good path. You pass quarried areas and should take time to investigate these. After passing the area in front of the climbing wall, proceed to the Southern tip, where a short diversion to the left takes you to a viewpoint, with a seat and information board; on still, sunny summer days there will often be a male Wall Brown occupying the lek area in front of the bench.
The shorter route now turns back on itself; just before reaching the Climbing Wall again, fork left for a hundred yards and then, after passing though a gate, head up to the right over the top of the hill. Once again, if it is still and sunny you may see Wall Brown here by the shelter-stile. Finally, continue straight ahead down the clear path back to the start of the walk.
If you decide to take the optional loop down into the woods, you will need to decend the steep path at the Southern tip. The path descends over bilberry and heather to the woods and then to reservoir at the bottom. The path back up the hill starts on the far side of the carpark and is indicated for the Gritstone Trail. Be warned, this path is very steep! You emerge again on the path around the top of the hill and should turn right to retrace your steps to the Southern tip.
Other attractions: There is an abundance of other interesting flora and fauna at Tegg's Nose, too many to describe here but information about these can be found in the Information Centre whilst taking refreshment in the Cafe.
Park in the Visitor Centre Carpark (postcode SK11 0AP, map reference SJ947723) which is pay-and-display.
Unfortunately, access to the butterfly areas on this site is not practicable for wheelchairs.