The rough grassland in Miss Whalley’s Field is home to an increasingly diverse flora and fauna. Kestrels and sparrowhawks are regular visitors and there have been sightings of barn owls and buzzards. You might even be lucky enough to spot roe deer, hedgehogs or bats.

Butterflies and moths

The field is becoming an excellent habitat for butterflies, moths and other invertebrates. In addition to the common butterflies you might find in your garden, look out for orange-tip butterflies which lay their eggs on cuckoo flower in May and early June, ringlets in the damp grassland on the Borrowdale Road side of the field, and meadow brown, large skipper and small skipper nectaring on red clover and common knapweed.

Some of the butterflies and moths in the field are shown below – click on the thumbnails for information on each species.

View Whalley Field Butterfly Survey 2020  (PDF)
View Whalley Field Butterfly Survey 2019 (PDF)

Wild flowers

In early summer the grassland is dominated by buttercups, cuckoo flower (also known as lady’s smock) and red and white clover. Common spotted orchids and southern marsh orchids are gradually spreading and small numbers of bee orchids appeared in 2019. There are also patches of greater bird’s foot trefoil, black knapweed and meadowsweet.

Please remember not to pick wild flowers on the field – especially the rarer ones like the orchids. If we leave them alone they will spread, for everyone to enjoy in years to come. 

Some of the wild flowers seen in the field are shown below – click on the thumbnails for information on each species.


Grasses, sedges and rushes


Have you spotted any interesting wildlife in the field? Let us know what you saw, when and where, and include a photo if possible. We’ll try to help with identification and add to the website. Send your sightings and photos to fmwfwildlife@gmail.com.