Michael's Peace Nature Reserve
A pocket of wildness in the West Dorset agricultural landscape, where unusual invertebrates thrive.
A small reserve of several different habitats. The wet woodland which makes up most of the site is home to many types of invertebrates, using the mud and rotting wood to complete their lifecycles. Amongst the trees grow plants such as moschatel, wood sorrel and opposite-leaved golden-saxifrage, as well as a host of mosses and lichens. An abundance of insect life, along with trees that have cracks and crevices, brings in turn birds and bats.
At the centre sits a large pond which is gradually silting up. This helps to dam up the water and create the waterlogged conditions favoured by a wide range of insects, including several nationally-scarce species of fly!
In between are pockets of scrub and wet mire systems which support blackcap and wren.
Turn off the B3163 towards Hooke, follow the road for 1.8km and look for a left-hand turn for Toller Whelme. Follow this road for 500m and the reserve gate is on the left hand side.
Access and safety
The majority of the reserve is extremely wet and boggy, with uneven ground, tree roots and ditches - some of which may be hidden beneath long vegetation. There is a short track down from the gateway leading to an open glade from which the pond can be viewed but there are no trails or public rights of way, and great care is needed if exploring any more of the site.
Please also be aware of the possibility of falling branches if visiting the site in or shortly after strong winds. Potentially deep open water on site.
Species and habitats
Wet woodland, mire and pond.
Blackcap, wren, opposite-leaved golden-saxifrage, wood anemone, brown long-eared bat.
Nearby nature reserves
Nature reserve map
Contains derived data © Crown copyright and database right 2012.Ordnance Survey LA100019790.
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