Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Dorset's Upton Heath restored for rare reptiles and birds

Rare reptiles and birds are set to benefit from the clearance of invasive scrub at heathland in Dorset.

Upton Heath nature reserve, in Poole, is home to all six British species of reptiles, including rare sand lizards and smooth snakes.

The 506-acre (205-hectare) site's rare birds include Dartford warblers, stonechats and nightjars.

Dorset Wildlife Trust is clearing birch and pine tree saplings from the reserve in order to maintain the heathland.

Heathlands are supposed to have a "low density" of trees, according to the trust, which manages the site.

"We want to make it clear that established trees are not being cut down and the site will not look any different as a result of the clearance," said Nicky Hoar, communications officer for the trust.

"The trees also provide important habitats and nests of hobby falcons have been found in some of the mature trees."

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