Saturday, 18 April 2015

Visiting Canada

Well, not quite - to Canada Common to be more precise. This is part of The New Forest, right on the edge of the National Park near Wellow. I visited it last week with a friend, who remarked that much of the area used to be potato fields - it's quite amazing how quickly heathland will come back if allowed.

A lot of scrub clearance has been carried out in recent years, as part of a Higher Level Stewardship agreement between Natural England the Wellow Parish Council, allowing the heather and species-rich acid grassland to  move in. The result is a large open area, with a mosaic of habitats, including streams and wetlands. It's also, very handily, in close proximity to a very good pub The Rockingham Arms!

I was interested to read the article on oil beetles in the latest edition of BBC Wildlife - coincidental bearing in mind my recent post on my encounter. I'll certainly be sending my records in.

This leads me onto the general theme of wildlife records, and the need to encourage everyone (not just ecologists) to send them in - they provide valuable evidence (once verified by record centres) to support assessments on planning applications or habitat management. The Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre (WSBRC) are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, and are holding a competition to see who can send in records of 40 different species  - all those that succeed in entering this number will be entered into a prize draw to win a mini-bioblitz of their local patch - just up our street as local patch reporters!

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