Pulling Himalayan Balsam Impatiens glandulifera along the banks of the Dockens Water at Blashford Lakes Wildlife Reserve (Nr. Ringwood, Hampshire) produced an unexpected and much needed highlight when a grass snake Natrix natrix was uncovered beneath the damp tangle of ferns and bramble - this individual was carefully replaced behind the advancing line of the volunteers where it quickly recoiled and settled.
Natrix natrix For more information on this species see http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/grass_snake.htm
The path edges around the reserve are brightened by the displays of St John's Wort sp. Hypericum sp.
Several Buddleia Buddlleja davidii or "butterfly bush" are growing around the visitor centre attracting a large number of butterflies including the peacock Inachis io, painted lady Vanessa cardui, red admiral Vanessa atlanta, brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni, large white Pieris brassicae, small white Pieris rapae and comma polygonum c-album. Speckled wood Parage argeria, small heath Coenonympha pamphilus and gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus were also noted around the site.
Inachis io (top) Vanessa cardui (bottom) feeding on Buddleja davidii
Parage aegeria on common nettle Urtica dioica