Canford Heath

A large area of interesting dry and wet heathland within the borough boundaries of Poole.

 

Site Name Canford Heath
Protection
  • BCP Council
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
3
County Dorset
More Information https://www.poole.gov.uk/sports-and-leisure/parks-and-open-spaces/nature-reserv…
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1000913…
Site Projects
Canford Heath

Canford Heath: wet and dry -

One look my the photographs of Canford Heath is enough to demonstrate just what a hostile habitat heathland is for plants. A sandy substrate which drains easily on higher ground and a hard clay layer below meaning lower ground quickly waterlogs. Few plants can survive in such extreme conditions. We associate heathland with heather, gorse and silver birch and these certainly do thrive in such geological conditions and are the dominant species on the dryer areas Canford Heath. In the marshy areas rushes and sedges abound along with some special bog species such as the sundews and butterwort. 

Although within Poole, Canford Heath covers quite a large area and packs a variety habitat into that area. It escaped being developed when Poole expanded after the war because the terrain is either very uneven in the higher regions or very damp in the lower regions; not suited to building at all. Despite being surrounded by housing it is a fruitful reserve and home to other less seen species such as sand lizard, smooth snake and Dartford warbler.

Once part of the Canford Estate the majority of Canford Heath is now owned by the Borough of Poole, the rest is owned by W H White and part of the Beale family.  Poole Borough Council manages its own land and nearly all of the land owned by W H White for the benefit of wildlife and public recreation. 

Sadly, it can be a target for arsonists and wild fires do happen here from time to time, usually started deliberately. However, the battle to conserve this special area continues unabated through the Urban Heaths Partnership.  

NOTE: Since writing this review Poole BC has become part of the newly formed BCP Council

Canford Heath

50.755863290781, -1.9613582837405
BCP Council, Site of Scientific Interest
3
These are the habitat types that MAY be present on the site based on the species recorded there (top 10 only shown):
Phase 1 Habitat Types Description No of Species
D1

Dwarf Shrub Heath

20
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

13
A2

Scrub

12
E3

Fen and carr

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
H6

Sand Dunes

11
E1

Bog

10
E2

Flush and Spring

9
B2

Neutral Grassland

8
These are the number of species for NVC codes on the site - it DOES NOT mean that the NVC community is actually present on the site: it might be! (Top 10 only shown):
NVC Community Description No of Species
M15

Trichophorum germanicum - Erica tetralix [Deer-grass/Cross-leaved heath] wet heath

13
W10

Quercus robur - Pteridium aquilinum - Rubus fruticosus [Pedunculate Oak/Bracken/Bramble] woodland

12
M16

Erica tetralix - Sphagnum compactum [Cross-leaved heath/Compact Bog-moss] wet heath

9
W09

Fraxinus excelsior - Sorbus aucuparia - Mercurialis perennis [Ash/Rowan/Dog's Mercury] woodland

7
H03

Ulex minor - Agrostis curtisii [Dwarf gorse/Bristle bent] heath

6
H04

Ulex gallii - Agrostis curtisii [Western gorse/Bristle bent] heath

6
W08

Fraxinus excelsior - Acer campestre - Mercurialis perennis [Ash/Field Maple/Dog's Mercury] woodland

6
MG05

Cynosurus cristatus - Centaurea nigra [Crested Dogs-tail/Black knapweed] grassland

6
W04

Betula pubescens - Molinia caerulea [Downy Birch/Purple Moor Grass] woodland

6
W07

Alnus - Fraxinus - Lysimachia nemorum [Alder/Ash/Yellow Pimpernel] woodland

5
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes Project Click for records and photos
01-08-13

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The number of species recorded per species group: