Category Archives: reports

Winter reptile habitat management day 28th Dec 2019

This was the first of 3 days carrying out sensitive habitat restoration management work on Ewyas Harold Common.

These works are undertaken to improve open habitat for our native reptile species. We reduce the scrub regeneration, concentrating on excessive saplings such as blackthorn, ash and birch, and cutting back the bramble and bracken.  Open basking areas are created, along with hibernacula and refuge habitat piles.

Hand tools are used as a management method, avoiding heavy machinery such as tractors and flails which would impact the soil and humus structure on sensitive sites.

It was a relatively warm day for December with some weak sunshine filtering through, enough for a lunchtime picnic!

 

 

There will be more dates over January 2020 which HART members can volunteer on.  The views are magnificent, you’re out in the fresh air and you’re doing work that will not only benefit reptiles but also butterflies and birds.

If members would like to help on one of the future dates please contact Nigel.

Whixall Moss visit – June 2018

Nine people gathered on a sunny Sunday morning at Whixall Moss, a National Nature Reserve managed by Natural England. We were led round by an experienced volunteer to look for some of the key species on the Moss.

At the first main ditch there were lots of dragonflies, mostly Four-spotted Chasers, and here we also found a Raft Spider.

Further into the Moss we spotted White-faced Darter.

The Moss is the southernmost location in England for this dragonfly species, which is mainly associated with the Scottish Highlands.  Amphibians and reptiles were in short supply although Will did net a newt together with a variety of beetles.

Finally at the end of the day a toad was found under a piece of wood.   An excellent day, well worth the long journey.

An information leaflet about the reserve can be downloaded from the Natural England website: click here