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Walking The Dragonfly Trail

September 26, 2008

After our long trek earlier this week, the Dorset Wildlife Trust decided to give the V-Team an easier task involving a nice little 3 mile stroll around Upton Heath to check the routes of one of the trails.

Today’s V-Team trio was made up of James, Tristen and Kerry-Ann. We all arrived at the Beacon Hill Centre bright and early, eager to find out what task we had for today (once we had woken up of course!).

Steve wanted us to go out onto Upton Heath and check one of the way-marked routes, using the GPSR ( Garmin system). So, armed with a map, we set off  along the Dragonfly route, the longest of the three trails on the heath. Upton Heath is a 205 hectare area of urban heathland close to Poole and the Dorset Wildlife Trust manages 110 hectares. It is a mixture of wet heath, bog pools, ponds, grassland and woodland habitats and home to all 6 of the UK species of reptile ( adder, smooth snake, grass snake, sand lizard, common lizard and slow worm). Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any of them today, but we did spot a rabbit and heard some stonechats.

Once we had left the centre the start of the route took us out onto open heathland, through the heather and gorse. The GPSR recorded our position and also allowed us to mark on the map the distance and time at intervals of 1 mile.  This would then allow the wardens back at the centre to make sure that the distance and time shown on the trail-guide leaflet provided for visitors was correct.

Tristen set off at quite a fast pace and we completed the route in just over an hour. It was 3.28 miles in total, so the 3.3 miles shown on the leaflet was pretty accurate! We also had no problems with following the instructions on the leaflet and there were plenty of markers along the way to prevent us getting lost – although we were only on Upton Heath!

Well, that was how we spent our morning and hopefully we will be going out again this afternoon with Steve to walk the rest of the ‘Walk For Wildlife’ route to collect the remaining markers, so we will keep you posted. They certainly like to keep the V-Team members busy!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Steve (DWT) permalink
    September 26, 2008 3:05 pm

    Well done team! Good work, and we now know exactly where the mile points are along the route – very handy for letting walkers know how far they have gone and how far still to go! The route work this afternoon is off – but I have another job that I’m sure you will enjoy, even more than walking. You’ve done more than enough miles for one week!

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