High Alpine meadow

Up above the tree-line the vegetation becomes sparser. While still carpeted with flowers the flora tends to be nearer to the ground and there are bare patches and rocky outcrops. The species of Butterfly present become more specialised. They tend to be hairy (for insulation?) and smaller than the ones found lower down.

High alpine meadow

Fritillaries are here, represented by Cynthia's fritillary Hypodryas cynthia, Mountain fritillary Boloria napaea, Grison's fritillary Mellicta varia and Shepherds fritillary Boloria pales. The Lycaenidae or blues have their specialised species too, Alpine blue Albulina orbitulus, Glandon blue Agriades glandon prefer this habitat and are found nowhere else. Amongst the Browns are Mnestra's ringlet Erebia mnestra and Alpine heath Coenonympha gardetta. The skippers are well represented by Alpine grizzled skipper Pyrgus andromedae and Dusky grizzled skipper Pyrgus cacaliae. The Peak white Pontia callidice also flies here, and higher up over the snow line.

The harsh winter conditions coupled with the glorious summer flush of flowers has created a unique set of species which exist only in this environment.



All pictures in these pages copyright to Simon Coombes. Permission must be sought and obtained for any use.