Girdlers Coppice Nature Reserve
A fine example of oak woodland and hazel coppice with a rich ground flora.
This centuries-old area of ancient oak woodland and hazel coppice slopes down to flood meadows by the River Stour. It has a rich ground flora that includes bluebell, wood anemone, moschatel, bugle, devil’s-bit scabious and saw wort. The wood itself provides habitat for a good range of birds, with the spring migrants willow warbler, blackcap and spotted flycatcher joining resident species such as great spotted woodpecker and treecreeper. Several species of bat, dormice, and a number of woodland specialist butterflies are also supported on this nature reserve, whilst the nearby River Stour brings dragonfly and damselfly species in summer.
By continuing the system of rotational coppice management here we are regularly creating more open patches within the woodland where wildflowers, and the butterflies which depend on them, can flourish.
Access from the car park for Fiddleford Manor, situated on the north side of the A357 about 2 miles east of Sturminster Newton. From the car park, go through the first gate towards the manor then go through a pedestrian gate to your left to cross the field towards the wood. Follow the fenceline round to your right to enter the reserve by a gate towards the corner of the wood.
Access and safety
A network of paths allow access around the wood. There are moderately steep slopes in the wood and wet ground conditions in the fields near the river. Keep your distance from the river banks. Please also be mindful of the potential for falling branches during or following windy weather.
Species and habitats
Coppice woodland, flood meadow.
Bluebell, wood anemone, violet helleborine, wild service-tree, spindle, holly blue, white admiral, silver-washed fritillary, great spotted woodpecker, spotted flycatcher, dormouse, Bechstein's bat, whiskered bat, white-legged damselfly, beautiful demoiselle.
Nearby nature reserves
Nature reserve map
Contains derived data © Crown copyright and database right 2012.Ordnance Survey LA100019790.
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