The following section documents the continually changing occurrence  of butterflies especially in South & West Yorkshire. Most of what is reproduced here first appeared in A4 or A5 pamphlets which was then handed out free to interested individuals or groups. It was a simple gesture designed to counter the dominant tendency to make money out of everything. We all should begin to think of losing money, not making it, especially where nature is concerned. They are as follows:

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 (See below for a more detailed description of contents)           

The pamphlets were also anti-copyright so anyone was free to use the information without needing to seek our permission beforehand. Where possible, the original presentation has been adhered to and the pamphlets arranged in a more or less chronological order, beginning in 1999 with a pamphlet on the recent explosion of Green Hairstreak numbers in the vicinity of Halifax and Bradford. As time went by similar increases were recorded particularly as regards the Ringlet, the Gatekeeper, Purple Hairstreak and now, possibly, the White Letter Hairstreak. And something of the same pattern, that sudden, unmistakable presence, was evident among Purple Hairstreaks as with Green Hairstreaks in the same locality. A few years later large colonies of Dingy Skipper were discovered and in the same year the largest landlocked Grayling site in the UK was found. All  are recorded here. Alarmingly most of these newly discovered Dingy Skipper colonies are threatened with immediate destruction by a blinkered state machine that is encouraging the destruction of brownfield environments like quarries and colliery spoil heaps.


Green Hairstreak Discoveries in West Yorks: This first Green Hairstreak pamphlet was an Appeal for more Information on the changing habits of the Green Hairstreak prompted by the glorious late spring of 1997 when on the hills and moors of West Yorkshire the butterfly appeared almost  everywhere there was a covering of bilberry. This really was  unprecedented and caught everyone, as others were later to testify, by surprise.

Pictures From The Gloom:    An uncompleted project which remained in maquette form.  How Green Hairstreaks responded to a truly ferocious storm on Otley Chevin, West Yorks in May 1999. Had this phenomena been observed before?

Green Hairstreaks Take Bradford!  The second pamphlet produced three years later, was based on the realisation that behind our backs the butterfly had dramatically 'invaded' the huge metropolitan district of the city of Bradford and was even living cheek by jowl beside old  (and not so old) industrial workings. The final section of this large A4 pamphlet  contained a sizeable selection of photographs emphasising surroundings and habitat because we felt field guide photography was of limited value and tended to create a distorting genre that, especially now, did more harm than good. We give our reasons  in an accompanying text on photography which cites  Walter Benjamin, Eric Hoskins, Kant, and Hegel's 'Philosohy of the Fine Arts' etc.

Aberrations Among the Butterflies of West Yorks: An unfinished, rather scrappy, attempt to get to grips with a subject that had long interested us. Why had butterfly (and moth) aberrations been of such enduring fascination in Britain from the mid 19th Century onwards? Obviously there were biological reasons for this (hereditary factors and the origin of species) but there were also  social, political even aesthetic ones that have been passed over in complete silence. When dealing with this question we inevitably found ourselves referring to the symbolist movement and in particular to the French poet, Mallarme and the Huysmans of 'Against Nature'. By beginning to break up all known forms of art both were moving from literary symbol to a search for practical ways of intervening in everyday matters. This theoretical framework forms the backdrop to previous research on the Green Hairstreak, Ringlet and Meadow Brown butterfly in West Yorks that emphasizes their variability. The whole idea  was in fact spurred on  by a new book about to be published on the butterflies of Yorkshire through the auspices of the Yorkshire Naturalists Union. We had been invited to write a section which, although the end result was far too big for such a project, had the merit of forcing us to put down ideas we had been chewing over for some time. This is the result.

Wintry Green Hairstreaks in West Yorkshire: The tale continues with a series of photographs  of the exceptionally early and freak  emergence  of the Green Hairstreak in March 2003 into a landscape practically devoid of greenery and flowers. It is set alongside a sombre text on the horrors of global warming whatever the illusions to the contrary in colder climes. It ends up with reference to the Permian extinction noting that academics always pull their punches!

The Purple Hairstreak Invades Bradford: A pamphlet produced in spring 2002 recording how this butterfly - unknown & unseen - had arrived in big numbers.  How long had they been there? Most everywhere there were oaks the insect was to be seen - eventually. Bradford had suddenly become like the North Downs of Surrey, perhaps even more so. It concludes with an addition (not included in the original pamphlet) arising from our discovery of the butterfly in Skipton, a gateway town to the high Pennines. We concluded the butterfly is like a 'virtual' butterfly because here it spends most of the time perambulating about the leafy twigs rather than flying. A question arises: are some of these colonies extremely old, pre-dating the paleo-industrial era?

The Blue Female of the Common Blue In West Yorks:  A pamphlet discussing derivatives of the ab: mariscolare as the now dominant female variety replacing the 'typical' female. Why has this happened? Focused mainly on Bradford it includes photographic comparisons of  the blue female from elsewhere in West Yorkshire including  Brockadale ( Pontefract) and Healey Mills. Southern England is also brought into the picture.The conclusion is somewhat premature. In fact the typical form is staging something of a comeback by appearing to emerge before the blue female, creating, for some unaccountable reason, a  genetic segregation in time.

Dingy Skipper Colonies in the ex-Yorkshire Coalfield: Found in order to be lost? The changing face of the new urbanism as the sign of nature rules over its actual demise amidst the vanquishing of the miners. Nowhere is this more evident than in the former South Yorkshire coalfield.

Dingy Skipper Report:  A long and often despairing account  of the biocide now facing the Dingy Skipper on most ex-colliery locations and other brownfield sites in South & West Yorkshire. Eschewing convention in these matters space is devoted to the government's housing program and the central role owner occupation plays in modern day political economy. The more the government meets its target of house price deflation, the more it will be matched by a similar deflation in the numbers of Dingy Skippers, at least in the north.

The Ringlet: Old and New Friends in the Bradford area:  Relying on old nature diary notes, an account of the Ringlets difficult and complex journey through the Metropolitan District of Bradford from the early 1990s up to the present day. Plus some provisional theoretical speculation on a European montane species.

Kineocology: The Butterflies of Industrial Dereliction: An account of various films recently made on the butterflies of vacant lots in West and South Yorkshire. Some of these films of various lengths were shown at a recent biodiversity conference in Bradford. Since then more venues have been arranged. Anyone wishing to show them should contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dingy Skipper filmscripts:  Filmscripts concerning some very disreputable films which for certain will never be seen anywhere. Ones that Bill Oddy would go apeship over. Still they are more the truth by miles about what's happening to the Dingy Skipper on the northern colliery spoil heaps than any information presented elsewhere. This is not spin......