DEAN GREEN TEAM

Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean

Gloucestershire

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31 May 2016

Darkhill Ironworks and Ellwood

Grid Ref SO588087

 

The Dean Green Team did a survey of the plants, trees, animals and birds in the area around Darkhill Ironworks and Ellwood. This was a large conservation area to survey and we were particularly searching for Adders which are relatively common on this site but none were seen although the day was probably too cold for them to be out basking.

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The Slow worms were found under the corrugated iron covers on the site near to the Titanic ruins. We found about 8 of them.

Despite their name and appearance, slow-worms are neither worms nor snakes, but are in fact lizards - they're given away by their ability to shed their tails and blink with their eyelids. They can be found in heathland, tussocky grassland, woodland edges and rides: anywhere they can find invertebrates to eat and a sunny patch in which to sunbathe

 

 

 

 

The Lizards are actually on an old stump which was keeping them warm. These lizards spend a lot of time basking in the sun to warm up enough to be able to hunt, particularly on cool or overcast days.

They hunt in vegetation for invertebrates such as insects, spiders, snails and earthworms, which are stunned by shaking the prey in their jaws and then swallowing it whole. Common lizards are vulnerable to a number of predators including domestic cats, foxes, crows, jays and hawks as well as other reptiles.

 

We had the Gloucestershire Moth Recorder with us who was excellent at catching and identifying moths and butterflies.

 

 

 

 

These are our results and we think that they show how diverse the wildlife is here.

 

 

 

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