Reptiles and amphibians
Fineshade is a very important location for reptiles, in particular Adders. There are also various types of newts in the ponds, including the locally scarce Palmate Newt and, of course, the Great Crested Newt.
In fact the reptiles and amphibians are so important we believe the wood should be a Site of Special Scientific Interest to protect them and their habitat.
During 2014 and 2015, surveys of reptiles were carried out by ecologists contracted by Forest Holidays - but in 2015 the survey was compromised when the refugia laid out to attract reptiles were destroyed by grass-cutting activities. The results of the 2015 survey have not been made public. We have made frequent requests to the Forestry Commission and also direct to Forest Holidays but, for the moment, the number and location of reptiles found in this part of the public woodland remains a closely guarded secret.
These 4 images of Adders at Fineshade were taken by Jandy Photography of Stamford.
The large Adder on the right was slowly crossing the forest track near the proposed Forest Holidays development in April 2014.
Below are the sad remains of a smaller adder that had been run over by one of the few vehicles that use the current track.
Obviously, extra vehicles passing through the wood on a proposed network of new tracks would be a real threat for this and other ground-dwelling species.
Slow worms seem to occur throughout Fineshade. This one was in the garden of one of the houses at Top Lodge.
Photo by Lynda Peirce
Also occurring throughout the woodland and frequently seen at Top Lodge.
Two more pictures taken in Fineshade by Jandy Photography
Three pictures of Grass Snakes by Bob Bullock
Palmate Newt on the left, Great Crested on the right.
Photos: Jeff Blincow
Please click here for a report of Palmate Newts in April 2016.
Photos by John Isherwood and Bob Bullock