Brooklands Farm Nature Reserve & Conservation Centre
This restored grassland at Dorset Wildlife Trust's headquarters is a great place for a close encounter with hay-meadow flowers and butterflies, and shows how much wildlife can be attracted to even a small site.
Following a project to re-create species-rich grassland from the arable field that used to occupy the site, creation of a large pond, and planting of hedgerows and an orchard in the late 1990s, this small nature reserve now supports a host of plants and animals. The meadow brims with wildflowers, with new species popping up every now and then and others, such as the green-winged orchid, spreading year on year. In mid-summer oxeye daisy, common knapweed, yellow rattle and bird's-foot-trefoil form a colourful backdrop with highlights of common spotted and southern marsh-orchids replacing the green-winged orchids of the early spring.
Twenty-three species of butterfly are now regularly seen on the nature reserve, including the uncommon, and aptly named, small blue; which breeds on the chalk lynchets excavated as part of the meadow restoration where the caterpillar foodplant (kidney vetch) grows in a hot, sunny turf. Great crested and palmate newts use the pond and surrounding scrub, while dunnock and yellowhammer are among the birds to make use of the developing hedgerows. Some of the wildlife even visits us in the office, with bank vole, yellow-necked mouse and grass snake among the species to have found their way in so far.
On the west side of the A352 Dorchester to Cerne Abbas road, about 2 miles north of Charminster.
Access and safety
Several gated entrances into the reserve. A grassy path leads around the meadow and through the small copse at the top of the hill or around the pond, with picnic benches provided by the orchard. During office hours visitors may use the upper car park and visit our reception to purchase cards and the DWT calendar, or pick up leaflets for our other nature reserves. Temporary fencing with gates may be used while we are grazing sheep on site (late summer/ early autumn). Ticks may be encountered on site and particularly if walking through the longer grass. Large pond on site.
Species and habitats
Flower-rich haymeadow, pond, orchard, hedgerows.
Green-winged orchid, southern marsh-orchid, common spotted orchid, common broomrape, cowslip, salad burnet, song thrush, house sparrow, slow worm, common toad, small blue, marbled white, meadow brown.
Nearby nature reserves
Nature reserve map
Contains derived data © Crown copyright and database right 2012.Ordnance Survey LA100019790.
|www.intergage.co.uk | Web site Content Management|