Mill Ham Island
Know before you go
Parking informationRoadside parking by railway bridge.
Short path to river bank.
Through pedestrian gate across a field then over a bridge and style. Narrow path.
A bridge with stile leads over the ditch and onto the reserve, and a narrow path cuts through the tall vegetation to the river bank on the other side giving access to the shaded river banks. In late spring and summer much of the reserve is covered by tall dense vegetation with quite a lot of nettle. There are steep, unprotected banks to the River Stour and care should be taken at all times. Avoid times of heavy rain and high water levels.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitSummer for riverine plants and dragonflies
About the reserve
This small ‘island’ borders one side of the River Stour and provides a pleasant spot for some river watching. To one side this scrubby woodland has steep banks down to the river where, on sunny days, reflections of overhanging trees and dapples of light play on the calm surface. On the other side there is a wet, reedy area where the river’s old course once ran.
This quiet spot is little visited and offers a retreat for otters. In the summer months listen for the song of willow warbler or see if you can spot the vibrant metallic blue of a banded demoiselle flitting above the water.
Four miles west of Sturminster Newton, turn east off the A357 signposted to Child Okeford and park by the railway bridge. Take the public footpath across the fields to a bridge across the river and on to the reserve entrance in the next field.