Parish Nature Notes for April - John Wright

April has been declared the wettest on record for England and after a dry and sunny March, it felt as if the brakes had been applied to spring. Summer migrant birds have been delayed, butterflies have been scarce and flowering plants are appearing somewhat later than in 2011. However, the much-needed rain will bring benefit to both plants and insects in May as temperatures rise.

Male orange-tip Butterfly

Wildlife in the Garden (3) - Lena Ward

I have a rather overgrown garden pond (nearly 2 x 3 m) with mostly native pond plants, plus a small ornamental water-lily. My garden backs onto Great Ovens Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest. On a warm afternoon on 12/3/12 I saw an adult of the Raft spider, Dolomedes fimbriatus, on the paving by my pond, presumably after emergence from overwintering.

Adult Raft Spider

Results of the Wildlife Gardening Questionnaire February 2012

We are fortunate here in Sandford to live in an area where wildlife is abundant locally. There were 34 householders who responded to our questionnare about their interest in gardening for wildlife; nearly everyone was interested in looking after birds, 90% had plants with flowers liked by bees and 11% had fish-free ponds liked by dragonflies and pondskimmers. The results of the 5 species we asked you to report seeing in your garden - Frog, Sand Lizard, Glow Worm, Toad and Hedgehog are also
presented in this article by Lena Ward. Lena and the Wildlife Group and many others hope this interest in wildlife gardening will grow.

Wildlife Habitats in Sandford Gardens

Parish Nature Notes for February - John Wright

February will be remembered for some very cold weather during the first twelve days of the month. Although we don't have a garden pond, a friend of mine told me that frogs returning to their breeding ponds in January had their spawn destroyed by the freezing conditions of early Febuary. Having said that, some frogs and also toads were able to spawn as milder conditions prevailed much later in February.

Green Woodpecker


Where people lived and what they did.

The Sandford of the 1840s was very different from the Sandford of today. About half was plantation, a third heath and most of the remainder farmland. The Census of 1841 records only 26 inhabitants. They mostly relied on farming, and lived in what are now known as Camp Cottage, Camp Farmhouse, Dibgy Cottages and Keeper's Cottage. These buildings, the remaining field boundaries, and the main road to Poole, which has bisected Sandford since its construction as a turnpike in the 1760s, provide the main points of reference for today.

Land use in Sandford in the 1840s


The boundary of Sandford is not officially defined. The parish of Wareham St Martin and of the electoral district include many areas that would not be regarded as Sandford, recent local plans focus on the built-up area so missing parts that would be regarded as Sandford and, as the accompanying historical articles show, Sandford has moved significantly since the name was first applied. An informal, working definition would be useful to the Sandford Heritage Project.

Present Day Sandford