|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.
||Up on the heathland strips, we looked for animals
amongst the plants.
||We found a Dor Beetle, which lays it eggs in dung.
||We also used a sweep net
to catch things hiding in the grass and heather.
lots of grasshoppers and different kinds of spiders.
||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
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.