BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild July -

The UK’s heath­land of­fers a unique open land­scape with a re­mark­able range of wildlife, in­clud­ing beau­ti­ful heathers, but­ter­lies, rep­tiles and birds. Here’s a se­lec­tion of the best lo­ca­tions to visit:

1 Can­nock Chase

in Stafford­shire con­tains the largest sur­viv­ing low­land heath­land in cen­tral Eng­land. It is home to four of the six Bri­tish rep­tiles and is great for hear­ing night­jars.

2 Westle­ton Heath Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve

is part of the best re­main­ing tract of heath in Suf­folk and is a blaze of pur­ple in sum­mer.

3 Thurs­ley Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve

is one of the largest heaths in Sur­rey and is thought to be the rich­est drag­on­fly site in Britain – with 26 species hav­ing bred.

4 Stud­land and Godlingston Heath

in Dorset is man­aged by the Na­tional Trust. It is the place to try and track down all six species of Bri­tish rep­tile.

5 Ayles­beare Com­mon

in Devon is a tract of heath­land with all three heather species, a pop­u­la­tion of Dart­ford war­blers and the high­est but­ter­fly species list of any RSPB re­serve.

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