Know before you go
Terrain: No access
No access for the general public.
Access and Parking
Head west from the A68 3.5km south of Castleside following signs for Beehive Cottage. Turn sharp left at Oxen Law and head south for 600m. The reserve is on the left of the road where there is a small amount of parking on the roadside. No access is permitted on the reserve but the site can be viewed from the roadside.
Private transport to the site is recommended.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMay to June, July to September
About the reserve
Longburnford Quarry is one of Durham Wildlife Trust’s smallest nature reserves and was acquired primarily for the conservation of the small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, County Durham’s rarest butterfly.
The site itself is a very small, disused quarry intersected by a small stream with areas of heath, marsh, wet grassland and bracken. This wet grassland has plentiful marsh violets – the larval food plant of the small pearl-bordered fritillary.
Although the site is primarily managed for the conservation of the small pearl-bordered fritillary, it is also home to green hairstreak and dark green fritillary butterflies. Common lizard can also be seen.
Due to the small size and fragility of the habitat, and the threatened status of the small pearl, there is no access onto the site itself but the butterflies can be seen from the roadside verge where there is an interpretation panel giving further information.