Yet again we are plunged back into another lockdown here in the UK ! Having won a set of LEE filters I headed out to a local nature reserve, Thursley Common. This huge expanse of mixed heath and bog plays host to a huge array of wildlife from water-walking spiders to miniature aerial raptors. It sounds like I’m describing a new Jurassic Park film and with deep pools of tannin stained water it can often seem like I’ve been transported to the time of dinosaurs.
So I was out testing LEE’s new discovery kit which comprises of their new holder system and a 0.6 ND graduated filter. Now I’m not much a tech person and I was just happy to be out on the heath, getting out of London is always a worth while escape !
Now Thursley has always been a great place and even since I was small it is a treat to visit each time. This time however was slightly different. Very recently a fire broke out on the heath and spread dramatically over the reserve. Investigators found that the cause was most likely a cigarette that had fallen through a gap in the board walk. With lockdown meaning people tried to avoid hotspots like the beach some visited the heath and during the height of summer the heath is bone dry, acting like a huge tinder box. It is a real shame to have seen the enormous wreckage that had swept over the reserve.
But as much as the fires had devastated the area there were plenty of signs of new growth. These types of habitats often go through a burn and rebirth process naturally, this time though it was human intervention that had caused the burn prematurely. Although the reserve is predominantly water the boardwalks had provided an easy pathway for the fire to reach the more isolated parts of the reserve.
It is a shame to look at the burn out board walk but thanks to volunteers the reserve will be back to it’s usual self. It won’t be long till I will be back out there next summer watching all the crazy species that call this awesome place home.
If you want to find out more about this trip then head over to Youtube to watch the video blog from this trip out !