Springwatch: Complex lives of tiny creatures play out in front of film-makers

PUBLISHED: 15:57 06 June 2014

Visitors enjoy the sand martin tunnels at Minsmere.

Visitors enjoy the sand martin tunnels at Minsmere.


You know what they say: it’s all about the little things. Well it certainly has been on Springwatch these past couple of weeks!

A hobby over Minsmere. Photo: Oscar Dewhurst. A hobby over Minsmere. Photo: Oscar Dewhurst.

What a fantastic opportunity we’ve had to peek into the hidden depths of Minsmere’s heathland and explore the ‘mini cliffs’ found close to our sand martin banks.

Whilst they are tiny, under the careful gaze of Springwatch film-makers, we’ve been able to see the complex and fascinating lives of creatures including antlions, bee flies, sand wasps and even had a chance to see the humble ladybird afresh!

These diminutive creatures are so easy to overlook, yet as we have seen, they are both stunning to look at, and a vital strand in our complex web of life, providing all important fuel for many birds and mammals across the reserve.

So next time I’m out on the reserve, as well as taking my binoculars, I will now remember to pack my magnifying glass too, to ensure I don’t miss the little stars of the show!

A tour of Minsmere – Wild Zone

Minsmere’s Wild Zone is a haven for kids.

Thanks to generous funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we were able to design an area especially for families and school visits. It provides a safe, interactive place for children to explore and learn and is a place of possibilities and adventure.

-Will you find your way through the migration maze?

-What is it like in the child size tunnels inspired by the burrows of sand martins?

Try our binocular trail or sit on the eggs in our giant bitterns nest. There’s lots of fun to be had and the big kids amongst us will love it too – just don’t get stuck in the sand martin tunnels!

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