Key sites in each 10km square are listed below. Details about each site will follow. Please note that some of these sites are private: societies or individuals who have negotiated access should not be put in a difficult position by the unauthorised access of others. If you visit Trust reserves, please support the Trust by becoming a member.
SP89: Eyebrook Reservoir, Lyddington, Wardley Wood, Stoke Dry Wood
Wardley Wood is one of the sites in Rutland with records going back more than a century, and was formerly a site for Pearl-bordered and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and Chequered Skipper. It can be reached by a footpath either from the north (just off the A47 near Uppingham) or from the south off the minor road from Allexton.
Though many of the former specialities have long gone, some (like White-letter Hairstreak) remain. White Admiral has been recorded recently, and Silver-washed Fritillary may well return. More regular visits will probably lead to further discoveries. The Forestry Commission maintains the path through the site, which leads to a cleared area near the middle of the wood which is often productive.
SK80: Burley Wood, Egleton, Prior’s Coppice, Wardley Wood
Prior’s Coppice OS map ref: SK 832051 (Sheet 141). Prior’s Coppice is an ancient ash-maple and ash-wych elm woodland. In spring it is a good place to see Brimstone and Orange-tip, and the declining Grey Partridge can be found in fields nearby. In summer it is possible to see Essex Skipper and both Purple and White-letter Hairstreaks (a good place to look for the latter is around elms along the minor road towards the wood).
SK81: Burley Bushes, Cottesmore
SK90: Ketton, Rutland Water (east), South Luffenham
Ketton Quarry is probably the best single site for butterflies in the county. OS Landranger Sheet 141, parking and access at approx SK977055 just past some small industrial units. Some of the site is managed as a reserve by LRWT, and some of it is owned by Castle Cement. A map and further details can be found at: http://www.lrwt.org.uk/nature-reserves/ketton-quarry/
Butterflies here include five species of skipper including healthy populations of Dingy and Grizzled, Green Hairstreak, Brown Argus and Marbled White. Ketton was the best local site for Wall until it disappeared in 2005. Rarer butterflies recorded here include White Admiral and Dark Green and Silver-washed Fritillaries.
The flora of the site includes the only colony of Yellow Bird’s-nest in the county, several commoner orchids including the stunning Bee Orchid, and Autumn Gentian. The old quarries are good places to see reptiles and offer the opportunity to see both Adder and Grass Snake.
SK91: Bloody Oaks, Clipsham, Exton/Fort Henry Ponds, Merry’s Meadows, Pickworth Great Wood, George Henry Wood
Bloody Oaks is an important area of limestone grassland which is managed predominantly for its flora. The site is located at SK970108, where parking is available on the verge. Information about the LRWT reserve can be found at: http://www.lrwt.org.uk/nature-reserves/bloody-oaks-quarry/
Although the site has traditionally been recognised as important for butterflies including Grizzled Skipper, Marbled White and Brown Argus, the discovery of a small colony of Chalkhill Blue in 2013 (probably the most northerly natural colony in Britain) has raised its profile. There have also been recent records of Silver-washed Fritillary.
Clipsham Old Quarry
Merry’s Meadows at SK938157 is a neutral grassland reserve managed by LRWT (see http://www.lrwt.org.uk/nature-reserves/merrys-meadows/ ). The site is most notable for its flora, for example the impressive stands of Green-winged Orchid in June.
The site also supports a variety of commoner butterflies, which include Small Copper, Common Blue and Small Heath.
Pickworth Great Wood is best approached by foot along the track which runs south from SK986157. It is managed by the Forestry Commission. Note that the north-eastern sector of the wood is in Lincolnshire.
Formerly a reliable site for White Admiral, it supports large populations of Brimstone and Peacock and is a good place to see Purple Hairstreak. Dark Green Fritillary is seen occasionally.
Birds include Hobby and Raven, and Early Purple and Bee Orchids can both be found.
George Henry Wood is just east of Stretton, north of the road to Clipsham. Parking is available on the verge. Although new woodland has been planted, the best area for butterflies is outside the fenced area, at the western edge along the side of mature woodland.
In spring the site regularly delivers sightings of Orange-tip, Green Hairstreak, Small Copper and Small Heath.