Exciting finds: rare bat and smooth snakes recorded during wildlife study of Hurn Forest

Bournemouth Echo: SURPRISING RESULT: The rare Bechstein bat. SURPRISING RESULT: The rare Bechstein bat.

A SPECIAL study to find out more about the wildlife in Hurn Forest has revealed a rare bat, smooth snakes and hundreds of fungi in the area.

The project, started by Hurn Parish Council, saw a biodiversity study funded by the Forestry Commission take place across the 370 hectares of forest to the north of Bournemouth Airport.

While the full results will not be revealed until the spring, it is hoped they can be used to educate the community and others about the ecological value of the forest.

It will also be used to help conserve species in the area. Until now the fauna of Hurn Forest has not been well recorded. So the parish council went about employing the services of specialist surveyors across the four seasons of 2013.

Cllr Margaret Phipps, chairman of Hurn Parish Council, said: “We already have some really interesting finds, including a rare Bechstein bat and the first confirmed record of smooth snakes in Hurn Forest.

“Two hundred and eighty-six species of fungi have been recorded here over the last few months – most are new records for Hurn Forest and amazingly 33 species are new to Dorset. Surveyors have found dozens of new species records for Hurn.

“Despite such a wet and cold spring, wildlife recording picked up and has allowed us to confirm the importance of Hurn for some species that were already well known in the local landscape, for example the silver-studded blue butterfly which has a strong population here.

“We knew the forest contained a wide range of valuable wildlife habitats including coniferous woodland, broadleaf woodland, bog, grassland and heathland, but the extent and diversity of wildlife in these areas was not fully documented.”

Comments (2)

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3:23pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Hurn08 says...

Forest is becoming a rarity in itself around Hurn. Year upon year more and more gets chopped down in the name of 'conservation'. Vandalism more like.
Forest is becoming a rarity in itself around Hurn. Year upon year more and more gets chopped down in the name of 'conservation'. Vandalism more like. Hurn08
  • Score: 0

5:58pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Crank says...

So, well done Hurn PC: how will anyone listen to protect these wonderful creatures? Even the Hurn roundabout update blog on this site has readers enthusiastically urging new, wide access roads to the airport. Across the very forest you have just evaluated. Seems like in Christchurch, it's evaluate; record; trash.
So, well done Hurn PC: how will anyone listen to protect these wonderful creatures? Even the Hurn roundabout update blog on this site has readers enthusiastically urging new, wide access roads to the airport. Across the very forest you have just evaluated. Seems like in Christchurch, it's evaluate; record; trash. Crank
  • Score: -2

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