Boardwalk dragons

Flanders Moss NNR

At Flanders the lizards will be thoroughly enjoying lockdown. There are a few people walking round the boardwalk but not many and the lizards will be owning it. Common lizards are found right across Flanders but the boardwalk is by far the best place to see them. As soon as the path was put-in in 2006 the lizards took to it, an unexpected bonus but we shouldn’t have been surprised as it provides for the lizards the perfect combination of features – suntraps with cover. If you have every visited you will see the lizards are often out onto the flat open area of the boardwalk as soon as the sun comes out. They need to bask in the sun rays to warm up their bodies before they can go off hunting and on the boardwalk they can simple catch more sun. But open spaces can be dangerous for lizards. Lots of things like to eat them so they also need nearby cover to escape to, and the construction of the boardwalk offers that with gaps in the treads and space underneath. It is also makes a good dinner plate as lizards are not the only creatures to use it to warm up. Flies, caterpillars, beetles and spiders can all be found on the treads either passing through or making use of the sun and all fair game to a hungry lizard.

The boardwalk at Flanders is one of these places that brings wildlife and people closer together with both making use of the structure. So one of the first things I will do when I get back out to Flanders after lockdown is to go and look for lizards, and I will be more than happy to share the boardwalk with these miniature dragons.

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