Our Stoke Camp Reserve is in the Mendip Hills near Cheddar at OS reference ST492511
The Stoke Camp Reserve is 11 hectare of limestone grassland which we manage principally for Small Blues.
Rising to a height of 265 m on the Mendip ridge, the top of the hill is surrounded by the earthwork of the Iron Age enclosure and there are splendid views towards Glastonbury Tor in the east or westward down the Severn estuary towards Exmoor
In 2019, there were 29 species recorded on the regular transect walks.
In addition to the common species, the butterflies recorded include Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Brown Argus, Chalkhill Blue, Small Blue, Small Copper, Wall Brown and Small Heath.
It was in May 1994 that Stoke Camp Reserve was purchased from a local farmer.
We are grateful to two branch members, that are no longer with us, that each gave large donation towards the cost of the land.
The main focus of management is to produce the sward structure and composition needed by the Small Blue butterflies who depend on Kidney Vetch.
In winter the site is grazed by cattle and sometimes also by sheep so as to reduce the dominance of the grasses and enable Kidney Vetch and other butterfly foodplants to flourish.
John Ball & Peter Bright are joint Honorary Wardens for both of our butterfly reserves in the Mendips - Stoke Camp and the nearby Westbury Beacon reserve.
They along along with volunteers keep an eye of the reserve and coordinate the management of it.
The reserve is known for the Small Blue butterfly and the presence of Kidney Vetch, the butterfly foodplant is the key factor.
From the A371 at Draycott village, turn at the brown tourist sign to the Gliding Club onto New Road. Drive up the very steep hill for about half a mile and park at the pull in on the left side of the road beside the Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT) Draycott Sleights reserve at ST486513. Go through the gate on the opposite side of the road into House Grounds that is also SWT land. From here you walk up diagonally up a steep grass field and through the gate in a drystone wall to enter our reserve.