Your questions on wildlife
Why are the heaths special?
If you’ve taken your local heath for granted, think again, this heather-clad landscape is rarer than rainforest! It’s home to wildlife you just won’t find elsewhere. Much probably goes unnoticed, but a closer look reveals a magical world inhabited by iridescent beetles, weird-looking wasps, beautiful butterflies, shy reptiles, carnivorous plants and some very special birds. Heathland birds are not part of the common-or-garden flock. And because a heath, by its very nature, is covered in low-growing shrubs, rather than trees, that’s where special birds like the nightjar, woodlark and Dartford warbler nest. On or near the ground, in amongst the heather and gorse!
I’ve heard there are adders here? Are they venomous?
Yes this is adder habitat. They do have a venomous bite, but they are shy creatures and avoid human contact. If they feel threatened, they will generally disappear quickly.
If a dog accidentally disturbs an adder, and gets bitten, you must take it to a vet immediately. It’s rarely fatal, but requires immediate treatment.