Hoe Grange Nature Reserve near Matlock opens its doors for a sixth year on Sunday 7 July between 11am and 4pm. Following the success of the 2023 Open Day when nearly 300 people visited, this year’s event promises to be another celebration of wildlife.
The free event offers an opportunity to see a diverse range of  birds, butterflies and other wildlife, some of which are quite rare.  You may be lucky enough to spot the Painted Lady Butterfly, a migrant species from Africa, which flies north through the UK towards Scandinavia. They use high level sites like Hoe Grange Quarry  (1,000 feet above sea level) as they avoid flying in valleys.
Hoe Grange Quarry is a former operational quarry, still owned by local company Longcliffe Calcium Carbonates.  It is managed by Butterfly Conservation East Midlands and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, and experts from these organisations will be on hand to guide and answer any questions.
The reserve is rich in a wide range of wildlife – both flora and fauna.  In addition to butterflies, you may see the Spotted Flycatcher, a migrant from Africa rarely seen in this area; or the Chalk Moth, another species seldom spotted here.
Ken Orpe from Butterfly Conservation East Midlands said: “This is a unique opportunity to see the special wildlife in the County at Derbyshire’s first Butterfly Nature Reserve. It is a result of some hard work by volunteers from both Butterfly Conservation East Midlands and the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. The floral display in this old quarry is a superb spectacle as well as the numerous dragonflies that can be seen flying around the ponds, together with the bird life in the adjacent trees.
“We hope this year’s Open Day is as successful as the last with many people coming in to enjoy the rich range of biodiversity we have here.”
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Landscape Recovery Manager Dave Savage said: “Hoe Grange is a small but special place. On a warm summer day there is nowhere better in Derbyshire to experience so many different species of butterfly. With the birds, dragonflies and plants in abundance.  This event is a great day out for anyone with a passion for wildlife.”
Paul Boustead, Longcliffe Group Managing Director, added: “Hoe Grange Quarry offers visitors an opportunity to get close to a diverse show of wildlife. We are delighted to work with our partners to continue to demonstrate the contribution a former operational quarry can make to local biodiversity.  As with previous years, we hope the Open Day is a big success.”
Courtesy of the site owner, Longcliffe, free ice creams and refreshments will be on offer throughout the day.
For more information about the Open Day please go to  Note, car Parking will be at Longcliffe’s transport depot at Curzon Lodge (DE4 4HN) which is situated down the hill towards Grangemill from the crossroads in Longcliffe village. Minibuses will then take visitors direct into nearby Hoe Grange Quarry. Please note that dogs are not allowed in the Reserve.

Image: Peter Walker: Painted Lady