Thursday, 28 July 2016

Landscape Enhancement.

For as far back as I can remember; that is from the late 1960's; the heathland landscape at Thursley NNR was dominated by 11 metal pylons carrying thirty three thousand volt overhead power lines plus twice as many wooden electricity poles carrying eleven thousand volts.

From my perspective they never detracted from the wealth of wildlife seen here over many years. The metal structures, all individually numbered, provided perching places for many bird species and sighting records often mentioned the pylon number as an aid to finding a particular bird for local and visiting birders.

The views have now dramatically changed.

After a two year-long £400,000 project funded by a special allowance granted by industry regulator Ofgem, completed last November, involving Natural England, Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Southern Electric Power Distribution (SEPD) over three kilometres of overhead power lines have now been placed underground, with the intention of restoring and enhancing Surrey’s rare, historic heathland landscape and re-creating a sense of partial wilderness rarely found in South East England.

During my most recent visit I noticed that a sculpture has been erected, paying homage to Pylon 36, and when completed will feature a dragonfly perched on top of the structure. I'll have to wait and see which species they decide on.

Throughout the project I understand that every effort was made to avoid areas used by rare nesting birds such as Woodlark and Dartford Warbler and to protect the Reserve’s varied habitats. Here are just some of the wildlife species I encountered during the past week.


A male Keeled Skimmer.

A juvenile Green Woodpecker.

Common Lizard.

Common Darter.
A male Black Darter.

Other bird species seen included Woodlark, Dartford Warbler, Common Redstart, Goldfinch, Swift, Swallow and Kestrel. Butterfly species recorded were Large White, Brimstone, Red Admiral, Comma, Gatekeeper and Small Copper. The Reserve is well known for the abundance of Odonata and apart from the three images above I also saw Emerald, Blue-tailed together with Small and Large Red Damselflies plus a few other dragonfly species, namely Emperor, Four-spotted Chaser and Ruddy Darter. (Some of these varied species will feature in future posts both here and on my photo blog.)  

A location I will never tire of visiting at any time of the year for its varied wildlife. FAB.

Linking to:
Saturday's Critters 


  1. It must be quite odd for you to see the view changed so much! It's such a diverse place to visit, I can see why you'll never tire of visiting.

  2. I am glad that there is a vision to preserve that habitat.

  3. Really enjoyed those photographs, looks a great habitat

  4. Hello Frank, I like the new view and much rather see the power lines buried. Gorgeous birds and dragonflies. The lizard is cool too. A great place to visit and bird. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  5. Its a stunning wetlands area and hopefully it will remain home to many rare and special species for years to come! Your photos are great - loved the lizard!

  6. I think thats a move in the right direction getting rid of those pylons Frank.
    Although we are use to such things, they are not natural.

  7. Beautiful sightings and photos . So interesting the grant to restore the area to natural state, but also rather fascinating that the birds had adapted to the towers in the first place.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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