A joint meeting with the Norfolk Moth Group. Meeting point- the reserve car park, at 20.00h. The car park is by the A1075 between Watton and Thetford, 5km from Thetford. Grid ref: TL913886. Postcode for satnav IP24 1RU. East Wretham Heath SSSI is a Norfolk Wildlife Trust Reserve (NWT) 140 ha in extent.
It was purchased by NWT at the start of the Second World War, making it the oldest Breckland nature reserve. Nevertheless, parts of the site were ploughed and farmed during the war. The site is now mainly close-cropped grassland, grazed by rabbits and carefully managed domestic livestock, and is home to scarce breeding birds including the Woodlark and Redstart. Occasionally Stone Curlews are seen. There are scattered bushes and small trees on site, which can be important singing stations for birds such as the Tree Pipit. There is mixed broad-leaved woodland around the margins of the site, blocks on site, and much woodland and plantation in the surrounding area.
There are also several meres on the site, which may dry up completely in some summers when the ground-water levels fall. The largest of these meres are Langmere, Ringmere and Fenmere, in order of diminishing size, each with hides for watching the birdlife on the water. The site is noted for Stoats, which prey on the large population of Rabbits, and it is hoped that one or more Stoats may be encountered during the field meeting. There is an old plantation of Scots Pine, thought to date from the early nineteenth century which may hold some invertebrate interest. Adders, Grass Snake and Common Lizard have been recorded and we hope to see all of these to up-date the records.
The aims of this field meeting are to update the records of as many moth species as possible, hopefully also finding some species which have not been recorded previously from this site, as well as to note as much as possible of the non-Lepidopteran wildlife.
Please refer to the printed version of the BENHS Field Meetings Programme forwarded annually with the BENHS Journal for full event and contact details.