What you might see

The year starts early at Old Lodge with the beauti­ful, flutey song of woodlark in January. This will be joined in the spring by tree pipit, cuckoo and redstart – a species that can certainly compete with the resident stonechat for awards in plumage. In winter the lesser redpoll and siskin are more apparent as are the occasional, marauding gangs of common crossbills.

Keep an eye on the ponds and wet areas throughout the summer – there will be dragonflies and damselflies including keeled skimmer, small red damselfly, golden-ringed dragonfly, brilliant emerald, downy emerald and white-legged damselfly.

In late summer it is worth looking out for the black darter – it’s fairly small but a great looking dragonfly. If you are lucky in early summer you could see the huge and luminous green spider scrambling around the tussocks of purple moor-grass.

Of course, it is always worth making extra visits to heathland in late summer to see our three heather species in bloom – the heady mix of purples flowing across the landscape, full of insects are a wonderful sight.

stonechat / Dave Kilbey