The Moors River and Lakes are an important habitat for wildlife.
Resident birds on the lakes include Grey Herons and Great Crested Grebes as well as Mallards and Mute Swans. Tufted Ducks, Pochard and Teal are just some of our winter visitors.
Over 20 species of dragonfly and damselflies (around half of those native to the UK) can be spotted during the summer months. Click here to see an article on the BBC website about Moors Valley dragonflies and damselflies.
The forest is the place for reptiles with adders, slow worms and common lizards often seen. They also provide a summer home for the Nightjar, a nocturnal bird with a passion for moths and an unmistakable churring call.
Most mammals are harder to see, grey squirrels and rabbits being the exceptions. Roe Deer, Badger, Bats and a variety of small mammals live at the park but are most active early in the morning or around dusk.
Throughout the summer months you will be able to see wildflowers along the path edges including Comfrey, Ragged Robin, Bluebells and Purple Loosestrife. They in turn help attract many butterflies, moths and other insects.
Later in the year it is the trees that hold the attention; the Dog Woods and Maples especially give an excellent display of autumn colours and a great number of toadstools and other fungi can be seen on the woodland floor.
According to the Hampshire County Council Biodiversity website http://www3.hants.gov.uk/biodiversity.htm the entire area of the porposed Purple Haze site is classified as Biodiversity Oppotunity Area (BOA)36.
Click here to open the map of BOA 36
Extract from the above site:
"Ringwood Forest is an extension of the Dorset Heaths and is a block of coniferised heathland situated on the Hampshire/Dorset border. The underlying geology of plateau gravel, Bagshot sands and Bracklesham beds leads to acid soils. The site displays an excellent diversity of habitats, species and structure, and is designated a SINC because of this. Unplanted areas of clearfell support important bird populations including sand martins. The extensive network of forestry rides are extremely diverse in species, including silver-studded blue butterfly, annual knawel, southern wood ant, wood lark, common cudweed, coral necklace and smooth snake."
The website also goes on to classify the Coral Necklace and Smooth Snake as rare species.