Bracketts Coppice Nature Reserve
One of West Dorset’s lesser known jewels, with ancient woodland, meadows and hedgerows, as well as wood pasture and a fast flowing stream, supporting a huge range of wildlife.
This stunning reserve is home to some of our best loved, as well as our rarer fauna and flora. Otters use the stream, dormice the woodland, as well as roe deer and brown hare, and several species of bat, including the very rare Bechstein’s bat. Green and great spotted woodpecker frequent the reserve as well as woodcock, pied and spotted flycatcher, breeding kingfisher and the more common woodland species such as nuthatch, treecreeper and willow warbler. Summer brings the riches of wild flowers including several orchid species, betony, adder’s tongue fern and common knapweed, and several important species of butterfly, such as marsh and silver-washed fritillaries, purple hairstreak and small heath.
Located 2km north of Corscombe, 3km west of Halstock, south east of Higher Halstock Leigh. If approaching from Halstock, gated entrance is on left 20m past Bracketts Farm. Very limited parking inside gate. Alternative entrances via field gates if approaching on foot or by bicycle, to the south (from Rye Water Lane) and east (via trackway running past Ocean Hill Farm).
Access and safety
From the main entrance the woodland is accessed via a track. An information board just inside the wood provides a map and other site details. From there a network of rides and footpaths enables access around the reserve, via occasional stiles and pedestrian gates, although these can all be wet and uneven at any time of the year, and in places steep, especially near the stream. Other entrances to the reserve, for those arriving on foot, via field or pedestrian gates with a second information board in the meadow at the Rye Water Lane entrance. There are no marked footpaths in the meadows but visitors can wander between the fields. The stream is deep in places, and can be a hazard in the winter months due to ‘flash-floods’. Ticks are present in all areas. Cattle graze the reserve in the summer months. Please keep your distance and observe any signs. Please see the Visitor Information page for more details.
Species and habitats
Ancient woodland, hay meadows, wood pasture, acid grassland, stream.
Otter, dormouse, brown hare, kingfisher, spotted flycatcher, marsh fritillary, silver-washed fritillary, purple hairstreak, bird’s-nest orchid, green-winged orchid, adder’s tongue fern, devil’s-bit scabious, common knapweed, betony, many fungi species.
Nearby nature reserves
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