“There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than
rolling heaths and commons of Wenhaston, especially when gorse
and the first flowering heathers are ablaze.”
The five small interconnecting heaths of Wenhaston
Commons include Blackheath, Mill Heath, Church Common, Bickers Heath and
Blowers Common. The picturesque and quiet character of these sites belies
the fact that, on closer inspection, they are teaming with wildlife.
During spring and early summer nightingale song drifts over the heaths.
There is the stunning sight of bell heather and coconut-scented yellow
gorse in bloom in mid June. In August amethyst shades of ling colour the
Harebell, wood sage and heath bedstraw are amongst the wild flowers to
be seen at Mill Heath. Tangles of honeysuckle, bramble and gorse characterise
Blackheath whose ancient dew pond holds great- crested newt – best
viewed by torchlight at night.
The Commons’ many butterfly include the rare silver-studded blue.
Lizard and slow worm, which being shy creatures will usually make off
quickly as you approach, bask in sheltered sun traps and large, bright
green tiger beetle scuttle haphazardly over the rough ground.
Silver-studded blue butterfly
Bell heather is the first flowering of all the heathers
Long legged green tiger beetle are fast runners that
fly off noisily if disturbed
Woodlark, whose stockier build and jerkier movements distinguish it
from its skylark cousin, are also a speciality.
Wenhaston Commons are managed through a partnership between Suffolk
Wildlife Trust, Suffolk Coastal District Council, a private owner and
the Wenhaston Commons Management Group.