Nature Content

Sandford Wrigglers talk and walk!

Find out about your local heathland reptiles and amphibians at this workshop with Rick Sharp of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, on Sunday 21st September 2014, 11am-2pm.

The workshop starts at 11am in Sandford Community Hall, Keysworth Drive, with a presentation on heathland reptiles and amphibians. This will be followed by a walk on Great Ovens Heath, with a glimpse, hopefully, of a reptile or two, and other wildlife.

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Wildlife in the Garden (8) Burnet Moths- Lena Ward

I introduced Bird's Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) to my wildlife garden and it has spread in some places, particularly around the pond and between the paving stones (1).  This is the main food plant for the Six-spot Burnet moth (Zygaena filipendulae) (2) and I am very pleased to have had a small population of these handsome moths in the garden over the last few years.

Six spot burnet on Verbena bonariensis

Your Wildlife Sightings - Autumn 2013- Winter 2014

Claire, Urban Heaths Partnership Senior and 'West' Warden, provided us with Parish Nature Notes - June 2013 on our local heaths. We miss John Wright's monthly notes but are very glad he is on the road to recovery . We had an excellent talk at our AGM on the National Trust's Cyril Diver Project from Project Officer David Brown learning about the huge range of work, volunteers and experts recording in the Studland Peninsular. Ben Buxton has organised a local talk on 'Where did heathlands come from' by the eminent heathland professor Dr Nigel Webb, so get along if you can! The talk is free with room hire provided by our Parish Council, donations are welcome, especially towards refreshments.

Gathering our sightings alongside these experts compliments our understanding of wildlife in Wareham St Martin and I love hearing about what has been seen and photographs are even better adding to our 'picture' of the local habitat and wildlife fluctuations. Here are some reports over the Summer and Autumn/Winter 2013. With the advent of smartphones it is becoming potentially easier to capture; although I managed to press all the wrong buttons when a hoglet crossed in front of us on Maple Drive one sunny November afternoon.

Would a talk on nature photography be something our members would be interested in hearing or taking part in workshops next year?

Common Frog in Sandford Garden

Autumn Wildlife Roundup...More Reports are needed!

I am beginning to prepare an Autumn wildlife roundup. Please get any more reports to b.lagden@dorsetcc.gov.uk by the end of September. Slowly reports are trickling in...we have also managed some spotting on the walk to school already! Please send in any of the 'Sandford 5: Hedgehog, Sand Lizard, Common Frog, Common Toad, Glow Worm. The best time for glow worms has peaked but they can be seen in September http://www.glowworms.org.uk/ .

Big Butterfly Count - join in!

The Big Butterfly Count is happening now until 11 August. http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/ organised by Butterfly Conservation Society who have their base in Dorset.

The boys and I have already done it twice and you don't need to know all your 59 British butterflies. The survey is of 21 butterflies and moths. Part or 'not sure' comments box records are fine. Taking 15 minutes in our trip to Sandford Community Field and Upton Country Park walled garden flower boarders gave us great pleasure to look out for these captivating insects.

Gatekeeper Butterfly on Pavement in Sandford
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Parish Nature Notes for May 2013 - John Wright

May 1st was warm and sunny and cuckoo-flower (also known as lady's smock or milkmaids) was visible as splashes of pale pink in damp grassland south of the Sherford River. However, this year it was flowering around two weeks later than is usual. The name cuckoo-flower came about because in a normal season the first flowering tends to coincide with the arrival of the cuckoo in mid-April.

Heath Dog Violets & Heath Milkwort

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