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

Where did heathland come from?

Heathland may appear to be "natural" but in fact it has been created largely by human exploitation over the last 4,000 years. To find out more about this remarkable story,come to Dr Nigel Webb's talk "Where did heathland come from?" on Monday 17 February, 7.30, Sandford Community Hall. Entrance is free and refreshments will be available.

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Proposed Gravel Extraction Near Local SSSI Heathland!

The new Minerals & Waste Plan includes plans for sand and gravel extraction at a large proportion of Wareham Forest adjacent to Great Ovens heath currently used by many for walking, cycling and dog walking. Comments close on Thursday 13 February 2014. You can comment online follow the links in this article or ask at Dorset County Council offices or telephone 01305 221000. Sandford Heritage Community Group have made a joint comment and disagree with the proposed site as have over 191 people who have submitted comments at the time of updating this article.

Quarry
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Wildlife Gardening Week: Drop in Workshop

The Royal Horticultural Society(RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts are working together to promote wildlife gardening during Wild About Gardens Week: 25th to 31st October 2013.
Our local event in Sandford is a ‘drop-in’ wildlife gardening workshop on Weds 30th October. It will be held in the Community Hall from 1.30 – 4.30 and all ages are welcome. All activities and refreshments are FREE and there will be information and short talks on various aspects of wildlife gardening. If you are a keen gardener or a complete beginner there is something for you.

Launch of Sandford Goes Wild March 2012

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/ .

Holton Bridge

King’s Bridge, where the A351 crosses the Sherford River adjacent to the Baker’s Arms roundabout, is well known.  There were at least two other crossing points further downstream that are less well known.  The lower one is largely conjectural, but that nearer King’s Bridge lay on a footpath connecting East Holton Farm to Lytchett Minster.  This path was probably of some importance to those living in and around Holton, but little now remains of it and of the bridge by which it crossed the river.

Photo of post-war bridge
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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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