Mute swan Cygnus olor at sunrise Loch Indaal Islay Argyll and Bute Scotland UK
Scarlet elf cup Sarcoscypha austriaca growing amongst moss, Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust Reserve, Ellingham, Ringwood,Hampshire, England, UK, 2019
Eurasian treecreeper Certhia familiaris on tree trunk Winnall Moors Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust Reserve Winchester Hampshire England UK March 2016
Little ringed plover Charadrius dubius male on gravel Blashford near Ringwood Hampshire England
Red fox Vulpes vulpes cub

This talk, new for the 2023/24 season, details the changes when an area of cereal-producing farmland is excavated for gravel.

Just to the north of Ringwood lies a gravel rich 'shelf' to the east side of the valley of the Hampshire Avon.  Over a number of years it was amazing to see how the habitat changed as work progressed and even more amazing was the quantity of new wildlife arrivals.  Being very close to the Avon Valley migration flyway, birds heading north in the spring or south in autumn often spilled over into the new gravel and pits area.

After record keeping and campaigning by just one individual, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust took an interest and then established the Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve and Education Centre.

Now an even broader range of wildlife can be seen as wildlife habitats mature.  These include birds, bugs and butterflies, mammals and mushrooms.

Numerous hides overlook stretches of water where birds such as gulls and terns of many species, a wide variety of ducks and herons have all been seen.  The latter group has included close encounters with bitterns and frequent views of Walter, Europe's oldest known great egret when he/she was last seen. Of course, grebes have also been seen here too!

The talk will be given in my usual light but informative style.

If you would like to book this talk, please phone or email me (preferably with a choice of 2 or 3 dates) or you can email via my contact me page.


Snowdrop Galanthus nivalis Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust Reserve near Ringwood Hampshire England UK February 2016
Great crested grebe Podiceps cristatus
Broad-bodied chaser Libellula depresa Parc Naturel Regional de La Brenne France
Eurasian siskin Carduelis spinus Blashford Lakes Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust nature reserve England