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

19th Century St Martin’s Parish

The area occupied by present day Sandford lies mostly, but not entirely, in the 19th Century Civil Parish of Wareham St Martin. This parish consisted of three distinct areas linked only by roads. These were:

• The Northern Eastern part of Wareham including Northport.
• Carey, Trigon, Cold Harbour, and Bere Road.
• Sandford, Keysworth, West Holton, Holton and part of Organford.

The first area was the "in parish", and the last two areas were the Western and Eastern parts, respectively, of the "out parish", so Sandford lay in the Eastern part of the out parish.

The out-parish of St.Martins in the 1840s


1840s Tithe map and census for St Martin

The area occupied by present day Sandford lay mostly, but not entirely, in the 19th Century Civil Parish of Wareham St Martin. The Census of 1841, the Tithe Map of 1843, and the accompanying Apportionment of 1844 together provide a view of where people lived, who lived there, and what they did. It is interesting to note, however, that none of these three documents uses the name Sandford anywhere. The view they give is unrivalled, because for most of the period for which census data are available (until 1911) most buildings in St Martin did not have formal addresses so, with a few exceptions such as Pottery Terrace and Sandford House, it is much harder to associate census entries with buildings.

Extracts from Tithe map and apportionments

Parish Nature Notes for January - John Wright

Last year I wrote about some of the plants and animals seen on Great Ovens Heath through the seasons, although in reality I attempted detailed recording of plants, butterflies, dragonflies and birds etc throughout the Parish. In 2012, the second year of our Sandford heritage Project, I plan to continue with this rather ambitious undertaking, with help from other enthusiastic naturalists within the Parish. Hence, as the year progresses, I will be reporting on a few of my observations each month to encourage readers to enjoy the varied wildlife we have all around us.