Dorset heaths

The Dorset Heathlands David Beeson My part of Southern England is dominated by a chalk geology. That results in thin, calcium-rich soils and a characteristic ecology. Much of south-east Dorset has sand and gravels beneath the surface, and these generate very different conditions. I was based a few kilometres north of the walled, Saxon townContinue reading “Dorset heaths”

Here be DRAGONS and DAMSELS! A major article.

A major article by John Solomon, August 2020 A guide to the ODONATA of the ANDOVER region. Introduction Odonata is the Latin term for the insects more commonly known as Damselflies and Dragonflies. While superficially very similar they do differ in several ways. Firstly, Dragonflies are larger than Damselflies and when they rest they alwaysContinue reading “Here be DRAGONS and DAMSELS! A major article.”

Children

Freshwater wildlife July 18th 2020 David Beeson As much as many of us enjoy seeing and recording wildlife we need to engage others – especially young people. Big Butterfly Count and RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch are following that approach although the oldies tend to dominate. I do not believe the results are taken really seriouslyContinue reading “Children”

What do your insects eat?

A photo-essay 17th June 2020 David Beeson As you know Forest Edge aims to be an eco-friendly garden. It has a range of habitats that change through the year. It has a native and non-native flora. But, who eats what? Great project here for children? Our butterflies today are small, large and green-veined whites, redContinue reading “What do your insects eat?”

You Should Read This! Ticks.

Ticks – what every wildlife enthusiast should know David Beeson If you wander the byways and grasslands almost anywhere in the world you will soon encounter one of these arachnids. Eight-legged little delights! Relatives of the spiders. They are common locally but I’m unaware of Lyme Disease here. There are over twenty different species ofContinue reading “You Should Read This! Ticks.”

Longparish on the River Test

Longparish Mill or the Hunt for a Golden Bloomed Longhorn Beetle John Solomon What am I doing here? There is a blustery breeze and nobody would describe it as warm, perhaps 19C but not over 20C. I didn’t get rained on driving out but some of the heavier clouds threaten to spit on me beforeContinue reading “Longparish on the River Test”

Slow-worms and the Moths of Harewood Forest

Legless lizards in your garden David Beeson June 2020 Life is amazing. From the Covid-19 virus (merely a stand of genetic material in a coat), through bacteria that can feed off plastic, to the tonnes of a massive whale or giant redwood, the diversity of life on our blue planet is mind-blowing. New forms ofContinue reading “Slow-worms and the Moths of Harewood Forest”

A Secret Pond – Damselfly Hunt

Secret Pond John Solomon 4th June 2020 While David was sampling the historic and exotic delights of Salisbury Plain I was off hunting a puddle. I get all the best gigs, but bear with me! I was on the trail of a conundrum. Rooksbury Lake is one of the most productive sites locally for DamselfliesContinue reading “A Secret Pond – Damselfly Hunt”

Ladies, you probably will not believe me, but being a male can be hard work.

A Common Blue butterfly David Beeson May 26th … still in isolation from Covid-19. We are familiar with male elephants or giant North-American buffalo fighting to hold prime mating territory. Birds are singing to proclaim both fitness and territory – all to lure the female of the species into their lair. Or is it theContinue reading “Ladies, you probably will not believe me, but being a male can be hard work.”

Of Dukes and Men

John Solomon Harewood Forest, 2 May 2020. A butterfly exploration. I make no apologies for this probably being the shortest blog I’ll ever post. Ileft the house around three o’clock with one target species in mind, driving uppast Walworth Industrial Estate and taking the B3400 towards Whitchurch.Here, driving past the Arbory rest home on theContinue reading “Of Dukes and Men”

Mammal Mapping and Badgers

Mammal mapper David Beeson When I’m out and about I record the mammals that occur in the area. Now, mammals are notoriously difficult to see. Plants are everywhere, butterflies sometimes in their hundreds and aphids coat the garden’s roses … but mammals hide away. But, if we all keep our eyes open you’ll be surprisedContinue reading “Mammal Mapping and Badgers”

Mammals

The mammals of local woodlands. David Beeson Although the British Isles has comparatively little mature native woodland, around Andover we have more than our fair share with Harewood, Coldridge and Collingbourne (near Ludgershall), the woodlands around Chute, the Doles Wood complex, Faccombe, Oakhill Wood near Vernham Dean and several other smaller woodlands scattered around. WithContinue reading “Mammals”