WHILE walking on Bloxworth Heath today, I met an older man who, like me, well knew the heath back in the 1970s and we both could recount the dense and varied reptile populations that could be seen on any sunny day thriving along the heath land to lawn edges.

Smooth snakes, adders, grass snakes, sand lizards, common lizards, slowworm, while today we both now are unable to find any.

After existing on this heath for the past 7,000 years they are now absent and it looks as though mankind’s presence and disturbance is responsible.

The same extinction can be found on Turbary Common as well and at this rate at least four of these species will be absent from all well used public sites in Dorset altogether. How sad is that?


Fraser Road, Poole