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Rare Bugs Found At Nature Reserve

Tadnoll Winfrith Nature Reserve

9:14am 9th January 2013

Rare bugs have been found at a Dorset nature reserve.

Three nationally scarce beetles have been discovered in ponds built at Dorset Wildlife Trust's Tadnoll and Winfrith estate.

A survey's been carried out four years after the pools were built.

Other species found include the rare large Broadwings Mayfly.

It's only the second time on record this type of Mayfly's been discovered in Dorset, since it was first found in the River Frome in 1970.

The survey found 37 species of beetle as well as 13 species of dragonfly. Most exceptional of these were the scarce blue-tailed dragonfly and the small red damselfly.  The nationally scarce beetles, which do not even have their own English names, were Rhantus suturalis, Berosus affinis and Helophorus griseus), all species of water beetle.
 
The wetlands at Dorset Wildlife Trust's Tadnoll and Winfrith nature reserve were created in 2008 by re-profiling 2km of ditches and constructing three ponds. All of this formed soft, muddy areas and gentle slopes for wildlife.  The wetland was initially designed to encourage wading birds, including snipe and lapwings, to over-winter and possible breed on the Old Prison Fields. Four years on, DWT undertook a reserve survey day in 2012 and concentrated on both the fields and the new ponds, with the help of an aquatic invertebrate specialist.

Sarah Williams, Conservation Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: "The invertebrate survey has been fantastic, showing us what species have moved in to these ponds, in a relatively short time-scale. As part of the Purbeck Nature Improvement Area, DWT plans to create more ponds and wetland features on the Old Prison Fields to increase these important habitats."

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly
The fields, which lie outside the part of the reserve designated as a site of special scientific interest, seem well on their way to hosting a variety of new wildlife of their own.  Water voles have been sighted along the embankments of the ditches, hobbies have been seen hunting the dragonflies over the ponds and the rare aquatic fern pillwort, Pilularia globulifera, has been found.

Tadnoll and Winfrith reserve is open all year for visitors.

For more information on the reserve, and the wildlife that can be spotted CLICK HERE



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