Results just released show an exciting increase in wildlife at an important Dorset nature reserve.
The unexpected invertebrates, including three nationally scarce beetles, were found in recently constructed ponds at Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Tadnoll and Winfrith reserve. The rare large broadwings mayfly Brachycercus harissellus was also uncovered in the reserve’s brook and is only the second record for Dorset of this species since the first discovery in the River Frome back in 1970.
Most exceptional of these were the scarce blue-tailed dragonfly and the small red damselfly
The survey found 37 species of beetle as well as 13 species of dragonfly. Most exceptional of these were the scarce blue-tailed dragonfly and the small red damselfly. The nationally scarce beetles, which do not even have their own English names, were Rhantus suturalis, Berosus affinis and Helophorus griseus), all species of water beetle.
The wetlands at Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Tadnoll and Winfrith nature reserve were created in 2008 by re-profiling 2km of ditches and constructing three ponds. All of this formed soft, muddy areas and gentle slopes for wildlife. The wetland was initially designed to encourage wading birds, including snipe and lapwings, to over-winter and possible breed on the Old Prison Fields. Four years on, DWT undertook a reserve survey day in 2012 and concentrated on both the fields and the new ponds, with the help of an aquatic invertebrate specialist.
DWT plans to create more ponds and wetland features on the Old Prison Fields to increase these important habitats
Sarah Williams, Conservation Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “The invertebrate survey has been fantastic, showing us what species have moved in to these ponds, in a relatively short time-scale. As part of the Purbeck Nature Improvement Area, DWT plans to create more ponds and wetland features on the Old Prison Fields to increase these important habitats.”
The fields, which lie outside the part of the reserve designated as a site of special scientific interest, seem well on their way to hosting a variety of new wildlife of their own. Water voles have been sighted along the embankments of the ditches, hobbies have been seen hunting the dragonflies over the ponds and the rare aquatic fern pillwort, Pilularia globulifera, has been found.
Tadnoll and Winfrith reserve is open all year for visitors. For more information on the reserve, and the wildlife that can be spotted, click here.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Rachel Janes or Sarah Williams at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.