Tadnoll and Winfrith Dorset Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve is an internationally important heathland and wetland site.

These habitats were already known to support priority wetland plant and insect species including Marsh Clubmoss Lycopodiella inundata and Small Red Damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum, and qualified the site as part of a national network of important freshwater habitats.

New pond creation on an area of improved grassland between two areas of the reserve cemented the sites importance for freshwater wildlife. As a perfect illustration of the value of new ponds, lawns of the rare aquatic fern Pillwort Pilularia globulifera have colonised the site in less than a decade. The extent of Pillwort in each pond and the number of ponds occupied is a sight rarely seen for this species. Francesca, our regional officer for the South, also made a remarkable discovery during a site visit. A tiny flash of electric blue turned out to be the exceedingly rare Pondweed Leafhopper Erotettix cyane, which is currently known from fewer than 10 ponds in the UK.

Funding from the Flagship Pond project has made it possible for more ponds to be created at the site, and we’ve helped volunteers to undertake standardised monitoring for Pillwort and Pondweed Leafhopper which will assess the effectiveness of the conservation grazing planned for the site.

Location: Dorset

Accessibility: Some Flagship Pond sites are accessible to the public, and some are not. If in doubt, consult maps for rights of way, look online for site information, or contact the site manager, and follow any instructions on site. It is up to you to check whether you require permission to visit and access the ponds on a site.

Site owners/managers: Dorset Wildlife Trust