Q and A: Jim Glover Talk

This was another very well attended talk with lots of questions (see SOS YouTube channel). Only two questions were left over and Jim has kindly answered these below.


Question Answer(s)
1 You mentioned Hen Harrier. What are the conservation objectives at Pulborough, for this species? It is quite a while since I was responsible for conservation objectives at Pulborough and I may not be up to date. I don’t think there are any specific objectives for Hen Harrier but the policy for leaving rough areas for feeding owls will benefit them. The problem for Hen Harriers is that they are persecuted by gamekeepers on heather moors. The first conservation job I had in 1979 was surveying the Forest of Bowland where I found keepers killing the harriers and destroying their nests. This problem continued for very many years despite every effort by the RSPB but I gather that the Forest of Bowland is now one of the very few places where they now breed successfully. Conservation can be a very slow process!
2 What reptiles and amphibians do you find there? I know that there are pamphlets in the Centre at Pulborough listing all the reptiles and amphibians but unfortuntely I cannot get one because the centre is closed. However I can tell you from my own experience that it is particularly good for Adders which can be seen easily along parts of the trail in spring, Great Crested Newts kept moving into all the ponds we dug for schools pond dipping, we also had Smooth newts but I dont recall seeing Palmate. I have seen Slow Worms, Grass Snakes , Frogs and Toads but they are not very common, Common Lizards are quite common in some areas. The only species which have not been recorded as far as I know are Sand Lizard and Smooth Snake but it is quite possible that they will be introduced onto the heathland in the future, as this is quite common practice on heathland creation projects.