19th June 2006
In Search of Damsels & Dragons…
Wildmoor Heath Nature Reserve covers a vast area, but if you know where to look you’ll find dragons and damsels... Not fire-breathing dragons or damsels in distress as featured in heroic adventure stories of old, but fast-flying dragonflies and delicate damselflies with their flashing wings and iridescent bodies found darting around the acidic pools and ponds in the area.
If you would like to find out more about these fascinating creatures and look for Keeled Skimmers and Ruddy Darters, to name just two of the species found on this site, join Ken Crick on Thursday 6th July when he will be leading a walk for the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership. Author of Blackwater Valley Dragonflies, Ken has been interested in dragonflies since he was a boy and has been actively recording and photographing the activities of the dragonflies in the Valley for the past 10 years.
“I find them endlessly fascinating,” says Ken, “and because the Blackwater Valley has so many ponds and lakes as well as the river itself, it is literally a dragonflies’ paradise. In fact of the 39 breeding species found in the British Isles 30 have been observed in the Blackwater Valley catchment area.”
Apart from dragons and damsels, Wildmoor Heath supports a wide variety of other wildlife. Among the many invertebrates is the Raft Spider, which lives in the moss filled pools of the bog. Over 55 bird species have been recorded here including the Stonechat, Tree Pipit, Whitethroat and Reed Bunting. Foxes and Roe Deer are present, but easiest to find at dawn and dusk, while a number of bat species can be seen on warm summer evenings as they catch insects around the edges of trees and bushes.
If you would like to join the walk meet for a 1pm start at Wildmoor Heath car park, off Crowthorne Road, Little Sandhurst, SU 837630. Sorry no dogs. For more details ring 01252 331353 or visit www.blackwater-valley.org.uk Blackwater Valley Dragonflies, a 48-page full colour booklet giving details of all 30 species of dragonfly and damselfly found in the Valley costs just £3 including p+p from Blackwater Valley Countryside, Ash Lock Cottage, Government Road, Aldershot GU11 2PS.
For further information contact:
Christine Reeves, Visitor Promotions Officer on 01252 331353.
- Wildmoor Heath is one of the most valuable areas in Bracknell Forest Borough for supporting and conserving ‘biodiversity’. It is a Special Protection Area under European legislation and designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, because of the rarity of the habitats and the site’s diverse flora and fauna.
- The Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership (BVCP) is funded by the County, District and Parish Councils along the River Blackwater. It works to promote community action in conservation and recreation and to protect the Valley for the enjoyment and well being of the whole community.
- Members of the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership are: Hampshire County Council, Surrey County Council; the District, Town and Borough Councils of Blackwater & Hawley, Bracknell Forest, Farnham, Guildford, Hart, Rushmoor, Sandhurst, Surrey Heath, Waverley, Wokingham and Yateley.