Random Ramblings 1.

Hardly a great photograph of a pair of one of our most charismatic reptiles, the Sand Lizard, but nonetheless one I find quite satisfying (the male is the pretty green one). These reptiles are found on the drier and sunnier areas of our heaths, but I also have numbers of them on prostrate conifers in my garden. They only seem to occur in gardens close to Great Ovens Heath, but some readers may be able to expand our knowledge of their distribution in gardens.

Sand Lizards

Please …

I expect many of you will have seen the dreadful pictures of the fire on neighbouring Upton Heath earlier in June 2011. In Wareham St. Martin we have several heathland areas of national importance and desperately want to avoid similar events here.

Upton Heath Fire June 2011

Wildlife Notes for Great Ovens Heath by John Wright - June


On 2nd June I went on the Reptile Walk on Great Ovens Heath led by Stuart of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and what a fascinating morning it proved to be. We had close-up views of several smooth snakes and learnt a lot about the natural history of our six native reptiles, all of which occur on this heath. As it was so warm, it became progressively more difficult to see some of the species but, nevertheless, we had plenty of time for close views and photos of a young adder close to the path.

Young Adder

Wildlife Notes for Great Ovens Heath by John Wright - May

There is always a lot to see on the heath in May, but the exceptionally warm weather this spring has meant that many plants have flowered early and both butterflies and dragonflies are appearing ahead of schedule. Sunshine on the 4th encouraged a song thrush to sing, presumably to entice a female to have a second brood with him. The warmth also encouraged small copper and red admiral butterflies to bask while the brimstone butterfly eggs seen last month had hatched and 1cm long caterpillars were munching chunks out of the alder buckthorn leaves.

Silver-studded Blue

Archaeology and history of the Sandford area

The name Sandford comes from the sandy ford which crossed the stream draining Morden Bog, a stream now crossed by a bridge at the bottom of the dip between The Gurkha and Wareham Golf Club. The origins of the present village go back to the middle of the 19th century; before then, maps show the name Sandford on the Wareham side of the dip!

The Old Nursery, Sandford Heath