The snail with stubble

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 13 August 2010 18:38

Almost the whole reserve team has been out looking at chalk-grassland sites and management in Hampshire today, in and around Queen Elizabeth Country Park. It's good to see how other organisations do things, to share ideas and stop us all from 'reinventing the wheel'. Now, to the wildlife. I found one empty Cheese Snail shell at the smart little chalk-grassland and Beech woodland site managed by Hampshire Wildlife Trust, Coulters Dean.

Cheese Snails are cheese shaped (think tiny Mini Babybel!). When young they are hairy and in the winter they close themselves in by secreting a whitish substance that solidifies. I took the picture below earlier last year in Sussex. What is so interesting about this RDB species is that it is confined, as far as I can tell, to the South Downs National Park. It likes Beech woodland on the chalk so the hanger woodlands of West Sussex are the place to see it in-county. You can find it hanging out under deadwood by gently rolling it back.
Also, Broad-leaved Helleborines, a very old Yellow Bird's-nest which I can't bring myself to tick and some close views of Ravens.

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