Reptiles and Amphibians
The parish of Whitehill and Bordon is the only place in the country where you can find all 12 native breeding reptiles and amphibians, meaning that our local greenspaces are really important, and need to be protected and managed correctly.
The 12 species are: Common frog, Common toad, Natterjack toad, Great crested newt, Palmate newt, Smooth newt, Common lizard, Sand lizard, Slow worm, Adder, Grass snake and Smooth snake.
Though most are found all over the country the Natterjack toad, Sand lizard and the Smooth snake are the 3 species that are only found in particular areas, one of them being in the Whitehill and Bordon area.
The king oak is one of the biggest trees in Bordon Inclosure and goes by many names including the Bordon oak, Boundary oak and the Fairy oak. It is thought that the oak tree is around 470 years old.
Many species will use this oak tree over the course of its life, around 400 insects will use the tree constantly as part of their lifecycle, and around 1000 plants, insects, mammals will use large oaks over their life whether it be as nesting, home, food or for material to use elsewhere.
Wet woodland mainly consists of Alder, Willow and Birch, as the one in Bordon Inclosure is dominated by alder it is also referred to as Alder Carr. Wet woodland is mainly found, in wet boggy areas next to rivers, streams, floodplain’s, fens and bogs.
It is important as is provides excellent habitat for both insects (such as rare beetles) and plant species such as ferns, liverworts and mosses.
It also contains lots of deadwood both on the ground and standing which provides habitats for insects such as moths but also birds such as the marsh tit. The ground flora and scrub of wet woodland is usually quite extensive and dense which creates perfect habitat for nesting birds and small mammals but also good habitat for Otters.
A seasonal or ephemeral pond means that the water level will change with the surrounding water table. This will mean that in the summer month the pond may dry out completely.
This will mean that fish will not be able to establish themselves in the pond therefore reducing the predators for insects and other pond life. Insects such as Dragonflies and Damselflies will use the pond as some of the top predators but other life will also use it including other aquatic life such as freshwater shrimp, water louse, water scorpions. Amphibians will use the pond to breed in and grass snakes maybe be seen swimming. Mammals and birds will use it to drink and bats like to feed over the surface.
Each of the walks (song lines) is represented by a different bird that can be found in Bordon Inclosure or has been recorded in the past.
The song thrush is a common bird in the UK residing all year and can be seen all over the country. It’s known for its distinctive repeating calls (2-4 notes repeated 2-4 times) that differentiate it from the blackbird. Even though the song thrush is relatively common in the UK its numbers have been declining making it a species under threat but not protected. It can be found all most anywhere, woodland, farmland, and hedgerows and mainly eats worms, snails and fruits.
The hawfinch is the UK’s largest finch, it is often seen in trees though will feed on the ground, though it is a shy bird and hard to spot, this has been made harder as its numbers have been decreasing in recent years, though not a protected species it is under threat. They can be seen all year round in the UK and they mostly feed on seeds, buds and shoots.
Kingfishers are unmistakable with their bright blue and orange colours, usually found over rivers, hunting from perches along banks. They are a common species in the UK, more so in the south but they are increasing in the north. They can be seen all year round, usually when hunting for fish.
A Dunnock is a small brown bird often seen along the edges of hedges, scrub or flower beds and formally known as a hedge sparrow. It’s common in the UK and is a year round resident. It can usually be found foraging for insects, worms and seeds close or in cover. It has a sharp high pitched but ‘flat’ call which can be distinctive.
The Firecrest is the one of the UK’s smallest bird, it mainly breeds in the South east (in small numbers) and is not found in the North of the UK. They are mainly found in woodland through can also be found along hedgerows, in scrub and gardens. It mainly feeds on small prey such as spiders, moth eggs and other small insects.
The Woodpecker is a common bird in the UK and is a resident all year round. It has a distinctive ‘bouncy’ flight and can often be heard ‘drumming’ on trees. They are found all over the UK mainly in areas with large deciduous trees/ woodland though they will also use large coniferous trees. They feed primarily on insects, seeds and nuts. They can also be found on the ground especially if it is a Green Woodpecker as their main food source is ants.
Bordon Inclosure is part of the ancient Royal Hunting Forest, Woolmer Forest, which extended from Alice Holt Forest in the north to Bere Forest in the south
After the last ice age as temperatures increased, there is evidence from flint artefacts that the area was used by Mesolithic hunter gatherers, more than 8,000 years ago. Bordon Inclosure is adjacent to Broxhead Common, where a Neolithic hearth or signal fire has been excavated and dated to 5,500 years ago
They were followed by the Bronze Age people who regarded the landscape, as sacred leaving behind 42 tumuli, which were high status burial mounds, and hoards of artefacts including swords. There is a Bronze Age tumulus on Broxhead Common, half a mile (800m) away.
In the Iron Age, hill forts were constructed to control the countryside and the Walldown earthworks (in the Nature Reserve) are thought to date from this time.
The Romans were in occupation when a renegade Roman tried to detach Britain from the Empire. The Emperor sent over an army which fought the rebels, possibly near Woolmer Pond, and took control back to Rome. The Roman road from Chichester to Silchester (near Reading) crosses the A325 in the South of the parish.