The Forest and the Drought 2018

NOTICE ISSUED BY: Official Verderer,  Lord Manners, Verderers of the New Forest, The Queen’s House, Lyndhurst, Hampshire SO43 7NH

Telephone: 023 8028 2052    E-mail: enquiries@verderers.org.uk

THE FOREST AND THE DROUGHT – JULY 2018

WATER

We understand that residents are becoming worried about a possible lack of water for the Forest animals in this unusually prolonged period without rain.

We would like to assure everyone that the animals DO know where to find water. It is actually rarely far away, even if some of the usual watering holes have dried up.

Putting out water in buckets and other receptacles for the animals is very counterproductive and dangerous and we ask Forest residents not to do it.

A story was related to our office last week which shows exactly why putting out water is not a good idea….

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Water for Forest Animals

At the Verderers court yesterday a statement was read out by the court with a plea for people NOT to put out buckets of water out for forest animals – specifically in this area.

There is still plenty of water on the Forest at places like Blissford and Moyles Court, and in the mires, and the forest animals are well able to find it.

The main issue raised by the official Verderer was concern that the lead pony or cow drank all the water provided by residents,  and then did not take the rest of the herd to water.

Also they were concerned that putting out water brings the livestock on to the road and puts them in danger from traffic.  Although they may be well intentioned, residents who put out water for livestock are actually making the situation worse.

Woodlark (Lullula arborea)

Martin Bennett lives in our Parish and is a keen ornithologist as well as a highly accomplished photographer. He writes here about a fascinating bird that can be found locally, we are privileged to have them here. Martin writes with passion about the potential threats to their successful breeding.

Despite the Woodlark  being  relatively abundant on Ibsley Common and  Rockford Common, some localised areas of the New Forest, and some parts of Southern England, it is more scarce elsewhere in Britain although it is increasing its range.  It is classified as a Schedule One bird, so any disturbance of any kind to this species is an offence.Continue Reading

The Adder (Viperus berus)

Martin Bennett lives in our Parish and is a keen ornithologist as well as a highly accomplished wildlife photographer. He writes about creatures found locally, we are privileged to have them here.

Over the past ten years, I have noticed a significant decline of the Adder. From my observations, partial reasons for their demise is the rapid increase of the Buzzard, Continue Reading

Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor)

The Great Grey Shrike is a bird that breeds in the Scandinavian/Russian regions.   A small number migrate to overwinter in the UK.  The New Forest  accommodates  a population of 3-6 individuals from October through to March in most years.  Ibsley Common (Digden Bottom) was often a regular hunting area for them, especially from late February when the Common Lizards would start to emerge from their winter hibernation, Digden Bottom being a prolific area for these small reptiles. Continue Reading

The Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata)

Article by Martin Bennett, all images copyright Martin Bennett.

We are extremely fortunate to live in an area of the New Forest that has a healthy quota of Dartford Warblers.

 Southern England is on the northern limits of its breeding range. They stay with us all year round,unfortunately a period of severe weather in the winter can have a devastating affect on their population. They are very reliant on a diet of spiders,and other small invertebrates, surviving a cold winter can be difficult to find enough food and in cold weather they can lose up to 30% of their body weight overnight.

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The Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)

Article by Martin Bennett, all images copyright Martin Bennett.

Header image Juvenile Cuckoo being fed by Meadow Pipit

The Ibsley Common and Rockford Common have relatively good numbers of the Cuckoo compared to some areas of the New Forest, although the numbers are gradually declining, possibly due to the demise of the Meadow Pipit who’s numbers have reduced significantly, certainly in the last 5 years.  The Meadow Pipit, Whinchat, Willow Warbler, Wood Warbler, Wheatear, along with the Cuckoo appear to be migrating further up the country to northern areas of the UK. It seems inevitable that the Cuckoo numbers will continue to decline in our area. The reason for these bird species moving north is possibly due to climate change.

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