Hoe Grange Quarry is the first Butterfly Reserve in Derbyshire.

Dingy Skipper - Iain H Leach

The first Butterfly Nature Reserve for the county is situated at the edge of the Peak District at Longcliffe in a  disused limestone quarry.

Access to the reserve is normally by appointment only through contacting Ken Orpe or by calling the Reserve Warden, Ray Walker on 01335 390584.

  • Hon Warden: Ray Walker (BC Member)
  • Assistant Warden: Derek Brownlee (BC Member)
  • Site Recorder: Ken Orpe (BC East Midlands - Derbyshire Butterfly Recorder)

The area measures 4.75 hectares and the land is owned by Longcliffe Quarries Ltd, but the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation's East Midlands Branch have been managing the site for wildlife.

East Midlands BC have been providing habitat advice and their volunteers have been working to plant butterfly-friendly plants and have been carrying out transects on the site since 2015.

To date, 26 species of butterflies have been recorded, including three BAP species - the Wall, Dingy Skipper and Small Heath. UK BAP priority species were those that were identified as being the most threatened and requiring conservation action under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP). 

There have also been sightings of two Peak District speciality species - the Dark Green Fritillary and the Peak District version of the Brown Argus butterfly.

There is also a very large colony of Common Blues on the site due to its food plant, Bird's-foot-trefoil, colonising the entire quarry floor when the site was left to wildlife in the 1970's.

Butterfly species /Year First Seen

  • Green-veined White - Iain H Leach
    Small Skipper: 2012
  • Essex Skipper: 2015
  • Large Skipper: 2013
  • Dingy Skipper (BAP): 2011
  • Large White: 2012
  • Small White: 2011
  • Green-veined White: 2011
  • Orange-tip: 2011
  • Small Copper: 2013
  • Brown Argus (Peak District species): 2014
  • Common Blue: 2011
  • Red Admiral: 2011
  • Painted Lady: 2015
  • Small Tortoiseshell: 2011
  • Peacock: 2011
  • Comma: 2013
  • Dark Green Fritillary: 2012
  • Speckled Wood: 2013
  • Wall (BAP): 2011
  • Gatekeeper: 2011
  • Meadow Brown: 2011
  • Ringlet: 2012
  • Small Heath (BAP): 2011
  • Clouded Yellow: 2016

Possible additional species

  • Melyn y Rhafnwydd
    Brimstone: Volunteers planted Alder Buckthorns in 2016
  • Green Hairstreak: Seen in nearby Quarries
  • Purple Hairstreak (BAP): Oak in adjoining site
  • White-Letter Hairstreak (BAP): Elm present on site
  • Holly Blue: Holly present on site

Moth species 

2018 was the first year we set up moth traps on the reserve and previous to this, we had only spotted the day-flying Wood Tiger moth at Hoe Grange in 2015.

Now, thanks to help from Ken Orpe, Steve Orridge & Ray Walker, we know that these moth species are present at the site:

  • Ghost Moth
    Common Swift
  • Map-winged Swift
  • Ghost Moth
  • Ash Bud Moth
  • Garden Grass-veneer
  • Silver-ground Carpet
  • Small Phoenix
  • Common Marbled Carpet
  • Green Carpet
  • Small Rivulet
  • Clouded Border
  • Latticed Heath
  • Brimstone Moth
  • Blotched Emerald
  • Coxcomb Prominent
  • Buff Ermine
  • White Ermine
  • Knot Grass
  • Angle Shades
  • Small Dotted Buff
  • Dusky Brocade
  • Clouded-bordered Brindle
  • Rustic Shoulder-knot
  • Dark Arches
  • Middle-barred Minor
  • Pale-shouldered Brocade
  • Bright-line Brown-eye
  • Broom Moth
  • Shears
  • Clay
  • Shoulder-striped Wainscot
  • Heart and Dart
  • Flame Shoulder
    Flame
  • Flame Shoulder
  • Ingrailed Clay
  • Small Square-spot
  • Large Yellow Underwing
  • Coleophora mayrella
  • Pseudargyrotoza conwagana
  • Eucosma hohenwartiana
  • Udea olivalis
  • Scoparia pyralella
  • Crambus pascuella
  • Agriphila tristellaAgriphila straminella

For the full list and to see what other wildlife you can enjoy at the site, take a look at:

For more information on the site, or if you would like to visit, please email Ken Orpe.

Please note: No dogs allowed, with the exception of assistance dogs.