Buxton, Grinlow and Axe Edge from Corbar Cross

What we know so far about wildlife, plantlife and biodiversity in the High Peak

This page provides links to:

  • recent and contemporary survey results and lists of wildlife in and around Buxton which have been developed and maintained by our individual members and by others through iNaturalist
  • the latest State of Nature Report for Derbyshire
  • historic records from other sites and organisations, and from the BFC archives.

High Peak wildlife currently recorded on iNaturalist

For these buttons to work properly you will need to be registered and logged into iNaturalist. This is a free and extremely useful app. See our ‘How to record wildlife’ page for more information and tips on how to use it.

Takes you to the up-to-date list of all observations within the High Peak area for the major categories of species of animals and plants

Click on the buttons below to go to the up-to-date iNaturalist catalogue and photogallery for each group, as recorded within the High Peak Borough Council District on iNaturalist (see High Peak Borough Council Boundary Map below).

High Peak Borough Council District Boundary

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust State of Nature Report 2021-22

A very good place to start is Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s latest report on The State of Derbyshire’s Nature. Click on the buttons below to either go to the dynamic online version of the report or to go to a downloadable pdf version providing a readily accessible summary.

Buxton Butterfly Surveys

For some years now our member Steve Orridge has been arranging, co-ordinating and reporting surveys of the butterflies in a number of locations around Buxton, including Lightwood, Cunningdale and Ferneydale and more. These resuts have been fed into the Derbyshire Butterfly Surveys and thence into the National surveys, and have provide a valuable source of data to support our wildlife knowledge.

You can view and download a copy of Steve’s reports for 2021, 2022 and 2023 here:

Buxton Species List

Buxton Field Club have plans to produce a comprehensive list of the rich variety of species that have been observed in and around Buxton. The BFC members leading this plan are Steve Orridge, Jon Mortin and Mark Cocker (BFC Recording Group). Jon and Steve have produced a annual lists of the species they have observed over the years up to January 2024. You can find downloadable copies by clicking on the buttons below.

The species list is now (Jan 2024) up to 2427 species for the Buxton area. This is different to the species list for the ‘Buxton polygon’ on iNaturalist (currently 2857 species) as it covers a slightly wider area and includes historical records and records not on iNaturalist. Similarly, there are records on iNaturalist not picked up on this list but the Recording Group are trying to add new species when they spot them. 

The list will continue to bebe developed and updated in the coming months and years. If you want to help in this, an easy way is by recording your own observations using the iNaturalist app, as described on our ‘How to Record Wildlife’ page here.

Buxton Wildlife Site Lists

Buxton Field Club Recording Group are also developing a  list of the wildlife sites around Buxton. This list will be developed and updated in the coming months and years. You can find a downloadable copy of the current version by clicking on the button below. 

Buxton wildlife currently recorded on iNaturalist

For these buttons to work properly you will need to be registered and logged into iNaturalist. This is a free and extremely useful app. See our ‘How to record wildlife’ page for more information and tips on how to use it.

Takes you to a searchable map and the up-to-date list of all observations for the major categories of species of animals and plants, within the ‘Buxton polygon’ area covered by the Buxton Biodiversity Group project

Click on the buttons below to go to the up-to-date iNaturalist catalogue and photogallery for each group, as recorded within the ‘Buxton polygon’ area covered by the Buxton Biodiversity Group project.

Species lists for Buxton wildlife sites

You can also find a growing set of species lists and photo galleries of specific groups (birds, plants, mosses and liverworts, etc) for specific sites (Lightwood, Cunningdale, etc) by going to the Wildlife places in Buxton and the High Peak pages.

Historic records

Flora of Derbyshire

This is a website that was originally built and hosted by Derby City Council. This is a maintained copy of the original site and has limited functionality.

This website contains information on over 1,700 species of plant growing wild across Derby and Derbyshire (records up to and including 2007). It covers flowering plants, trees, conifers, ferns and horsetails – all the so-called “vascular plants”.

You can use this website to find out more about them.

The Search facilities on the site let you:

  • Find the names of all Derbyshire’s wild plants and see when they were last found
  • View a distribution map to show where species have been recorded
  • Read sample species accounts
  • check species statistics.

Accounts have been written for every species, most are still in draft form. The information presented is based on nearly ¾ million records going back 300 years and up to and including 2007, compiled by the Derbyshire Flora Group: a partnership between Derby Museum, the University of Derby, the Botanical Society of the British Isles and numerous local botanists and volunteers.

The Peak National Park in the 1960's

Historic records of species found in the Peak District are valuable not only as a source of interesting data but also to prevent us from falling prey to the ‘creeping baseline’ when we compare what we have with what we had.

A table compiling the flowering plant species (trees, shrubs, ferns,  wildflowers, rushes, sedges and grasses) found in the Peak National Park against the habitats they were found in, as listed in K.C. Edwards ‘The Peak District’ (Collins The New Naturalist series, 1964)

A table compiling the flowerless (moss and bryophyte) species found in the Peak National Park against the habitats they were found in, as listed in K.C. Edwards ‘The Peak District’ (Collins The New Naturalist series, 1964)

The lists cover the flowering and flowerless plants that could be found at that time in the following types of habitats across the gritstone and limestone areas of the Peak National Park:

Siliceous grassland

(Only covered in the flowering plants species lists.) Lower parts of moorland in gritstone areas. Grass cover chiefly on slopes between 1,000-1,250 feet. Examples: Longdendale, Ashop and Alport valleys, Bleaklow-Kinder region and slopes leading to the West Moors.

Gritstone moorland

High moorland in gritstone areas, dominated by peat cover, with heather, cottongrass and bilberry dominating in different areas. Elevations between 1,000-2,000 feet, depending upon area. Examples: Kinderscout-Bleaklow area plateaux, Est Moor, Upper Derwent Valley, Alport Dale, Combs Moss, Goyt Valley.

Oak-birch woodland

Climax vegetation on the grits and shales of the gritstone areas. Examples: Upper Derwent Valley, Ladybower region, Burbage Brook near Grindleford, Upper Dane Valley, Longdendale.

Calcareous grassland

Grassland community in carboniferous limestone areas occurring in all the dales, and in upper areas (hay meadows, verges, etc) not subject to agricultural ‘improvement’. Examples found in: Monk’s Dale, Miller’s Dale, Ravensdale.

Calcareous scrub

Intermediate stage in succession below about 1,000 feet in carboniferous limestone areas, tending to climax vegetation above that altitude. Otherwise occurs as retrogressive community arising from degeneration of ash woodland. Examples found in: Dovedale, Ravensdale, Monk’s Dale, Miller’s Dale.

Ash woodland

Climax vegetation in the dales of the carboniferous limetone areas, Extending to an altitude of about 1,000 feet. Examples found in: Dovedale, Ravensdale, Monk’s Dale, Monsal Dale and Lathkill Dale.

Limestone rivers & streams

Mountain streams and rivers flowing through the limestone dales, including submerged and marginal species. Examples: River Dove, River Lathkill, River Bradford.

Limestone crags and cliffs

(Only covered in the flowerless plants species lists.) Limestone crags and cliffs in wet and dry dales, and damp ravines. These provide the richest bryophyte habitats in The Peak. Examples found in: Chee Dale, Ravensdale, Dovedale.

The lists are acknowledged by K.C. Edwards as being incomplete, with variation between examples of the same habitat in different parts of the Peak National Park, and small communities of rare plants being found in specific special sites. The scientific names of many of the moss and bryophyte species have undergone significant development and reclassification since the lists were published, and the species referred to cannot be identified with certainty in some cases. These are indicated in the tables.

They do give a very good picture of the overall variety and distribution of species across these habitats at that time, and there is much additional detail and commentary to be found in the original text.

Buxton and its woods lie outside the National Park boundary, and parks, gardens and cultivated farmland are not included in the habitats, so tree species such as Beech, Scots pine, Sitka spruce and Japanese larch and cultivated grasses such as rye, oats, barley and corn were not included in these lists. Invasive and escapee species  such as rhododendron were not included either.

Example of the lists in K.C. Edwards 'The Peak District' (1964)

Rosemary Furness has been going through a cache of records and reports from BFC over the years, and selecting ones of interest. These are fascinating, and we will be publishing more of them here over the coming months on this page.

The cover of the first BFC Report, 1969-71