Wildlife and habitats
The pond, stream and lake at Vicar Water all provide homes and food for a variety of birds, waterfowl, aquatic nests, amphibians and dragonflies including kingfishers, herons, grebes, tufted ducks, water scorpions, frogs and newts, along with emperor dragonflies and common darters.
Vicar Water's heathland was transplanted from Budby Heath in 2000 and includes a mosaic of bell and ling heather, cross-leaved heath, along with gorse and broom. This heathland supports a wide range of birds, reptiles, butterflies and beetles.
Key species to look out for include:
- Green woodpecker
- Tree pipit
- Common lizard
- Green tiger beetle
- Dingy skipper butterfly
Species rich grassland is another rare and important habitat. It can support a large number of rare grasses and flowers, keep an eye out for bee orchids, harebell, field scabious, and common centuary.
Vicar Water has a large amount of woodland that contains both broadleaved and coniferous trees along with scrub. These wooded areas are also full of wildlife. Spring is a great time to see traditional woodland plants such as snow drops, bluebells, and wood anemones. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for birds including great spotted woodpeckers, tawny owls, treecreepers, jays, goldcrests, and nuthatch. Following a Woodland Improvement Grant from the Forestry Commission in 2015, woodland thinning work has taken place to add more diversity to the woodlands at Vicar Water. Areas have been opened up to provide space for the better trees to thrive along with allowing understory and ground layers to develop naturally.