The Lodge

The Lodge

The Lodge
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The Lodge

  • Unexpected visitor?

    There have been several sightings of a kingfisher around the pools over the last week. Although kingfishers have been reported here on occasions in the past- perched on a stem overlooking over the old swimming pool - it is, understandably, a very scarce bird at The Lodge. Last week, a kingfisher was seen on the new pools below the hillfort, on the pool in front of the hide and at the swimming pool! It is likely to be a youngster from the breeding birds along the nearby Ivel Valley that's taking a look around the area. I hope I can see it as it will be a Lodge 'tick' for me!

    Carrying on the water theme, our warden Andy flushed up a green sandpiper from the new pools yesterday. Although green sandpipers are a scarce sighting here, they are seen annually and generally favour the pool at the hide.

    We were out on the new heath yesterday, and had great views of the adult hobbies dashing overhead and going in to pines feeding their noisy youngsters . I took some shots of the flowering heather in the sunshine to show how great it's looking on the new heath this year.



  • Heather and hobbies

    A flock of mistle thrushes has just flown past my office, and a robin is singing its melancholy call outside, which is a sure sign that we are approaching autumn!

    Fortunately, signs of summer are still around at The Lodge. The hobbies are still feeding two young on the edge of the new heath and have been seen each day this week, and butterflies and dragonflies are out in good numbers when the heat of the sun comes through.

    With migrant birds on the move, we’ll be checking the skies in coming weeks for scarcer birds and raptors, such as ospreys and honey buzzards passing over.

    The heather on the new heath is looking terrific at the moment, but we have a problem with heather beetle on the old heath. These beetles invade the heather plants, eating young shoots and damaging stems, with the result that the heather turns a foxy-red colour by July before dying and going completely grey by the following spring. Seedlings and old heather are especially vulnerable to attack, leaving only young, vigorously growing heather capable of surviving. These attacks are cyclical in nature, so the heather should recover again in the future.

    With the school holidays in full swing, we have a hands-on nature activity day on Sunday (11am – 3pm), and our popular mini-beast safaris take place twice a week until the end of August.

    You can find more details of these and our other events on our web site,

  • The Lodge gardens in summer

    We have two full time gardeners', Val the Head Gardener and Nick, who organically manage the gardens at The Lodge and keep them looking amazing and great for wildlife throughout the year. Nick is keeping me supplied with images to use on our blogs to share with you all, and here are some of his latest....

     Make sure you have a walk around the gardens and enjoy them when you visit!