in Defence

Dstl reveals hidden wildlife and ecology of its working range

Posted 3 March 2022 · Add Comment

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) range near Salisbury - bought by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1916 and now managed by Dstl - is the country’s most restricted wildlife habitat and home to diverse ecology, including a valley of ants.

The nature of the organisation’s work has meant few get to enter the area and glimpse the unique biodiversity within, so today - on World Wildlife Day - Dstl has released a video which reveals the hidden wildlife and ecology of its working range.

It has escaped the ravages of post-war agricultural challenges which changed the landscape of the British countryside.

Ecology Officer Sarah said: "Dstl is the home of lots of scientists doing some fantastic work but it’s also home to a fantastic habitat and biodiversity.

"There are many wildlife species that are unique to this site.

"Dstl takes great responsibility in ensuring our populations are doing really well. The innovation Dstl is known for does go hand in hand with the ecology work that we do here."

The Rural Team painstakingly cultivate the area to make it perfect for its rich diversity of wildlife. It manages, maintains and surveys the site to make sure it stays in a good condition.

The area boasts 44 different species of butterflies like the Duke of Burgundy and the silver-spotted skipper.

It is also home to 15 pairs of stone-curlew - a protected crow-sized bird that was once on the verge of extinction. A host of rare creepy crawlies include the brachinus crepitan ground beetle which can spray corrosive chemicals at high speed when it’s attacked by predators.

One of the most special features is the valley of the ants which is not thought to have been ploughed in 200 years.

The Antscape contains three million anthills and 35 billion industrious yellow meadow ants – and is among the largest of its kind in the UK.

The unique area also has hundreds of rare plants and flowers. There are 16 types of orchid including the very rare Lady Orchid, which has produced more than 30 individual plants from one single specimen.

The working range straddles the Wiltshire and the Hampshire border in the heart of the chalk down and countryside near Salisbury.



* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Kromek receives D3S-ID order from US federal entity

Developer of radiation and bio-detection technology solutions for the advanced imaging and CBRN detection segments, Kromek Group, has received an order from a US federal entity for the Group’s D3S-ID wearable nuclear

Defence Academy opens online research repository for UK defence and allies

An innovative digital project launching at the Defence Academy is poised to make decades of defence research available to UK defence personnel and allies.

Royal Navy sailors get new uniform

Royal Navy sailors are receiving a new uniform at the start of a £78 million revamp of their clothing.

Farnborough Airport welcomes Flexjet team

Farnborough Airport’s mission to become a global showcase for airport sustainability and driver of regional economic growth continues to gather pace as it welcomes premium fleet operator Flexjet in setting up its European

Thompson launches next gen VantageXL

County Armagh based Thompson Aero Seating today launched a new and enhanced 2022 design VantageXL.

Rolls-Royce powers directed energy field tests in US

Rolls-Royce has successfully demonstrated ‘deep magazine’ power capability for directed energy applications, powering multiple, extended laser field tests in collaboration with Lockheed Martin as part of the US

ODU SK0105310522
See us at
DVD BT2704220922Future Armoured Vehicles Weapon Systems BTFuture Arm Vehicles Active Protection Systems BTFuture Arm Vehicles Power Systems BTAdvanced Engin BT2504031122