Sutton Holms Nature Reserve
Traditional unimproved pasture with hedges, pond and a small flower rich copse.
Although small, the reserve contains an interesting mixture of habitats. The rich community of plants in the meadow is typical of grasslands in damp neutral to mildy acidic conditions that were once widespread but are now very uncommon, due to agricultural improvement. Wildflowers present in the meadow, which is quite wet in parts, include devil's-bit scabious, lady's smock, oxeye daisy, ragged-Robin, meadowsweet, spotted and southern marsh orchid. The meadow provides an attractive habitat for butterflies such as the orange tip butterflies early in the year, and marbled whites in mid summer.
The woodland, with oak, hazel, holly and sallow also has a rich spring ground flora with early purple orchid, wood anemone, snowdrop, sanicle and moschatel. A small stream runs through the copse with signs of otters sometimes seen.
NB: POND CURRENTLY BEING TREATED FOR NON-NATIVE, INVASIVE PLANT CRASSULA HELMSII AND WILL BE COVERED WITH BLACK PLASTIC UNTIL EARLY 2017.
Heading west from Verwood on the B2081, after Romford take the second left to stay on the B3081 (signed for Shaftesbury and Wimborne St. Giles). Follow the road round the bend and, just as the road is straightening up, look for a track to the right. Follow this for about 100m to a parking area for one or two cars by the gate to the reserve.
Access and safety
Cross the stile to enter the meadow (the gate will be unlocked if no stock are present) or follow the small path just to the left of the gate to head into the woodland. The meadow itself is wet in places and is criss crossed by a series of ditches that may be partly obscured when the meadow is tall and the pond is unfenced. Take care crossing the small bridge in the woodland, especially after rain when it may be slightly slippery. Please be aware of the risk of falling branches in or after strong winds.
Cattle graze the grassland for a short time during the spring and summer and there may be ticks on site. For more information on these general countyside hazards and other aspects of visiting our nature reserves please see our visitor information page.
Species and habitats
Wet pasture, oak woodland, hedgerow, pond, stream.
Betony, devil's-bit scabious, sneezewort, southern marsh-orchid, common dog violet, wood anemone, dormouse, song thrush, marbled white.
Nearby nature reserves
Nature reserve map
Contains derived data © Crown copyright and database right 2012.Ordnance Survey LA100019790.
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