Offwell Woodland & Wildlife Trust

Promoting the British Countryside


About us Conservation Education Wildlife Habitats Maps Search Resources Sponsors


The Young Rangers' Club
A Club for Children interested in Wildlife & Conservation

Nature Detectives
1st September 04 -

wpe3C.jpg (11963 bytes)

The Heathland Project area at the Centre is being restored to a heathland habitat. It is divided into strips and managed in different ways to see which method best encourages heathland plants such as heather, to grow. The strips are now all very different from each other.

We went to help find some of the animals which live on the heathland.

Some of the animals living there only come out at night, or they may be very secretive, even if they are out in the day. As we were unlikely to see such animals at this time, we looked for signs of their presence.

First of all, we looked at fallen hazelnuts from a Hazel tree which overhangs the entrance to the heathland. Most of the hazelnuts were empty and had been eaten by squirrels. We knew this because they were all irregularly crunched and munched. However, we did find one that looked as if it had been eaten by a Dormouse. Dormice eat hazelnuts in a very characteristic way. They are one of Britain's most endangered mammals. They are known to live at the Woodland Education Centre, although signs of them had not been found in this area before.

Looking for insects and spiders. Up on the heathland strips, we looked for animals amongst the plants.


Dor Beetle We found a Dor Beetle, which lays it eggs in dung.
Sweep netting for insects and spiders. We also used a sweep net to catch things hiding in the grass and heather.

We caught lots of grasshoppers and different kinds of spiders.

Wood Cricket, Nemobius sylvestris. Near the top of the steps which lead up to the heathland, we also found several Wood-crickets running around in all the decaying plant litter.

Wood-crickets were a very good find because they are found in only a few places in Britain.

Find out more about Wood Crickets here.



Young Rangers' Club Home Page