Badbury Rings Hill Fort

One of England's finest earthworks where the land has been undisturbed for centuries and is a good site for orchids

 

Site Name Badbury Rings Hill Fort
Protection
  • National Trust
Interest
5
County Dorset
More Information https://www.dorsetbutterflies.com/places/badbury-rings/
SSSI
Site Projects
Badbury Rings Hill Fort

Badbury Rings: ring-a-ring-a-orchids -

Dorset is blessed with a good number of iron age hill forts where the ground has been undisturbed for centuries. Those on the chalk can often be prime sites for orchids and so it is with Badbury, you have to search for them but they are there. The earth walls of the fort are the best places to look. There is lots to see other than orchids, of course, including a couple of species of notable butterflies.

Badbury is always somewhere we mean to go and then do not seem to get round to it. Part of the reason is that it is a very popular spot and can get quite busy in summer. That said, away from the car park and picnic area it can hardly be described as crowded! During the week is fine, best avoided at weekends perhaps and school holidays can see it become something of a children's playground which does not suit everyone.

Built on high ground the fortified area at the top affords lovely views across central Dorset and, on a nice day, are almost worth the visit on their own. If you do visit, take the time to explore the woodland behind the fort, it is especially lovely in spring.  

Badbury Rings Hill Fort

50.826530326397, -2.0529066297231
National Trust
5
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
H6

Sand Dunes

16
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
D1

Dwarf Shrub Heath

14
A2

Scrub

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
H8

Maritime cliff and slope

10
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

10
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
B5

Marsh/marshy 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
W08

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

27
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

26
MG05

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

26
W09

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

25
W10

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

24
CG03

Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland

23
CG02

Festuca ovina - Helictotrichon pratense [Sheep's Fescue/Meadow Oat-grass] grassland

20
CG06

Helictotrichon pubescens [Downy Oat-grass] grassland

20
W07

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

18
CG07

Festuca ovina - Pilosella officinarum - Thymus polytrichum [Sheeps Fescue/Mouse-ear hawkweed/Wild Thyme] grassland

16
The number of species recorded per species group: