My route uses the National Cycle Network - 1,200 miles in 30 days

Land's End → Truro → Bodmin → Holsworthy → Barnstaple → Wiveliscombe →Glastonbury → Bristol → Stroud → Worcester → Stourport → Wem → Nantwich → Manchester → Whalley → Borwick → Kendal → Penrith → Gretna Green → Abington → Glasgow → Stirling → Callander → Killin → Pitlochry → Kingussie → Inverness → Lairg → Skail → Thurso → John o'Groats

See map here

Tue 22nd June - Day 1

  • Land’s End to Truro

  • Visiting Upton Towans - Cornwall Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve

  • Target species: Silver-studded Blue

  • Later visiting Bissoe Valley - Cornwall Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve

Wed 23rd June

  • Truro to Bodmin

  • Visiting Goss Moor National Nature Reserve

Thu 24th June

  • Bodmin to  Holsworthy

  • Promoting BC’s recent All the Moors project at St Breward, the Butterfly Capital of Cornwall. See YouTube video.

  • Target species: Marsh Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

 

Fri 25th June

  • Holsworthy to Stoke Rivers (10km beyond Barnstaple)

 

Sat 26th June

  • Stoke Rivers to Waterrow (SW of Wiveliscombe), over Exmoor

  • Visiting Haddon Moor Butterfly Conservation Reserve and Haddon Hill

  • Target species: Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Heath Fritillary

Sun 27th June

  • Waterrow to Glastonbury

  • Too wet to visit Collard Hill NT reserve or Green Down, Somerset Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve

  • Target species: the re-introduced Large Blue

Mon 28th June

  • Glastonbury to Bristol

  • Visiting Westbury Beacon (possibly Stoke Camp) Butterfly Conservation reserve

  • Possible visit to Ubley Warren reserve (tbc)

  • Target species: Dingy Skipper, Small Heath and others

 

Tues 29th June

 

Wed 30th June

  • Stroud to Worcester

  • Day at Rough Bank Butterfly Conservation reserve, arranged by the Gloucestershire Branch of BC (tbc)

  • Target species: limestone grassland specialists, eg. Small Blue, Brown Argus, Green Hairstreak

 

Thu 1st July - Day 10

  • Worcester to Stourport-on-Severn

  • Visiting Monkwood Butterfly Conservation reserve

  • Target species: White Admiral (possible Wood White and egg search)

Fri 2nd July

  • Stourport-on-Severn to Wem

  • Visiting Wyre Forest National Nature Reserve

  • Target species: Silver-washed Fritillary (possible Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary)

Sat 3rd July

  • Wem to Nantwich

  • Visiting Prees Heath Common Butterfly Conservation reserve

  • Target species: Silver-studded Blue

 

Sun 4th July

  • Nantwich to Manchester

  • Visiting Leftwich Meadows Nature Reserve

  • Target species: White-letter Hairstreak colonies near Northwich

 

Mon 5th July

  • Manchester to Old Langho (Whalley)

  • Visiting Milnshaw Park Wildflower Meadow (Accrington)

  • Possible visit to Summerseat Lancashire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve - tbc

 

Tue 6th July

  • Whalley to Borwick

  • Visiting Bell Sykes Farm Coronation Meadows (SSSI), near Slaidburn

  • Over the Cross o' Greet in The Forest of Bowland

 

Wed 7th July

  • Borwick to Kendal

  • Wildlife event at Myers Allotment Butterfly Conservation reserve (10th Anniversary of BC management)

  • Target species: High Brown Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Northern Brown Argus

  • Visit Holme Stinted Pastures for High Brown Fritillary

 

Thu 8th July

  • Kendal to Penrith over Shap Fell

  • Side trip to Whitbarrow National Nature Reserve (car): Township Plantation, White Scar (Northern Brown Argus, Grayling), Latterbarrow CWT, Meathop Moss CWT (Large Skipper)

  • Target species: High Brown Fritillary, other fritillaries

  • Sainsbury's Car Park, Kendal - White-letter Hairstreak

 

Fri 9th July

  • Penrith to Gretna Green

  • Wildflower meadow in Carlisle

 

Sat 10th July

  • Gretna Green to Abington

  • Lochwood Moss peat bog near Beattock - peat stripping concerns

  • Target species: Large Heath

  • Possible detour to Fruid Reservoir for Northern Brown Argus

Sun 11th July - Day 20

  • Abington to Glasgow

Mon 12th July

  • Glasgow to Stirling

  • Promoting Butterfly Conservation's Helping Hands project in Glasgow - Elder Park, Ruchill Park and Springburn Park

  • Forth and Clyde Canal towpath

Tue 13th July

  • Stirling to Callander

  • Visiting Wester Moss Butterfly Conservation reserve and Fallin Bing

  • Target species: Large Heath (if not too late in the flight season)

  • Callander Riverside Meadows

 

Wed 14th July

  • Callander to Killin

  • Look for small colony of Purple Hairstreaks in Killin

 

Thu 15th July

  • Killin to Pitlochry

  • Visit to Ben Lawers (north of Loch Tay) for Mountain Ringlet

 

Fri 16th July

  • Pitlochry to Kingussie

  • Had to cancel the Moth trap at Kingussie

  • Visiting Insh Marshes RSPB reserve

  • Launch of the Big Butterfly Count - world's biggest citizen science project for butterflies

 

Sat 17th July

  • Kingussie to Inverness

 

Sun 18th July

  • Inverness to Lairg

  • Nigg Dunes, north of Cromarty - Small Copper

  • Gearrchoille Community Wood, Ardgay

 

Mon 19th July

  • Lairg to Skail, north of Syre in Strathnaver

  • Across the Flow Country

  • Roadside verges by Altnaharra

Tue 20th July

  • Skail to Thurso

 

Wed 21st July - Day 30

  • Thurso to John o’Groats

  • Visit "Burn of Midsands" Coronation Meadow, Dunnet Beach

  • Visit Dunnet Head RSPB Reserve - most northerly point of the British mainland

  • John o'Groats

  • Hooray!

High points

  • 482m on Exmoor (Grid Ref: SS 74765 36245)

  • 462m at the Pass of Drumochter in the Scottish Highlands

  • 429m in the Forest of Bowland

  • 418m at Ben Lawers car park (walked up to 628m - the highest point of the trip)

  • 407m at Slochd Summit near Inverness

Distance: 12,200 miles / 1,964km

Total climb (and descent): over 19,000m

 

Resources

Sustrans: www.sustrans.org.uk

Cycling UK: www.cyclinguk.org

Butterfly Conservation: www.butterfly-conservation.org