If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

22 June, 2013

Site Review: Stephens Castle, Verwood, Dorset

In my travels around the nature reserves and special places of Dorset I find some real gems. They take me by surprise as I set out with low expectations sometimes and I find something totally unexpected when I arrive. Stephens Castle was certainly one of those surprises and is a true gem.

It covers a larger area than I had anticipated and is a strange combinantion of high ground that is predominantly sandy and lower ground that is water logged and boggy. Heath land it may be but there is something a little different about Stephens Castle that I find it hard to define. Sadly, on the day I visited it was not really ideal for dragonflies and damselfies but I suspect later in the season they abound given the acid pools and myre.

Full credit to the East Dorset District Council that have provided a good quality accessible path around the reserve but there are also plenty of opportunties to wander off this main path and explore the marshy areas, the sandy stretches and to wander in and out of the scrub. I am sure my species list really does not do justice to this lovely reserve.

Whilst visiting Verwood for Stephens Castle why not take a look at nearby Bugdens Copse and/or Dewlands Common?

Click here to see more photographs and a species list:
www.natureofdorset.co.uk/sites/stephens-castle-local-natu...

17 June, 2013

Site Review: Worgret Heath, Wareham, Dorset

Worgret Heath is heathland but with a difference! It has been improved for farming and so, whilst many heathland plants remain, the heather has gone to be replaced by grass. That said, it is grasland with an abundance of flowers, especially buttercups of various kinds in spring and early summer.

Not a large area but it forms a pleasant walk in summer across the higher ground to the south of the River Piddle that runs out in to Poole Harbour to the north of Wareham. It is mixture of fine pasture and some damper areas where various wet species of flora thrive.

You can get to Worgret Heath by parking at the end of Streche Road in wareham, just past the hospital and walking down the gravel track alongside wareham Common and the,just under the road bridge turn left and follow the footpath. Once you get away from the road it is a very peaceful walk with many rewards.

See more photographs and a species list here:
www.natureofdorset.co.uk/sites/worgret-heath