Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve

A delightful heathland area with other habitat types to add variety. 

 

Site Name Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve
Protection
  • National Nature Reserve
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
4
County Dorset
More Information https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/countryside-coast-parks/countryside-sites-and-…
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S2000234…
Site Projects
Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve

Sandford Heath: a comfortable heath -

Sandford Heath is a favourite local site of mine! There is a lot of heath in Purbeck but somehow the character of Sandford Heath is a little different and I put it down to the large heathland areas being somewhat cold and unforgiving whereas this site is warm and comfortable ... well I know what I mean.

There is plenty to see in a range of sub-habitats with dry heath and bog with a wonderful heathland pool which swarms with damselflies and dragonflies on a nice summers day. There is a stream with rich green vegetation and scrubby areas too. Having been planted with conifers at one stage extensive management is underway to remove the plantation trees and restore the area to heathland. The results of this work will take time to come through but the signs are already there that the effort will be worthwhile. 

Despite being close to a busy road, an industrial estate and extensive housing it is a peaceful place and I rarely see anyone else there, just an occasional dog walker and, in school holidays, a couple of the local kids exploring.  

Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve

50.71574076633, -2.0853296939163
National Nature Reserve, Site of Scientific Interest
4
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
H6

Sand Dunes

15
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

14
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
E3

Fen and carr

13
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
A2

Scrub

11
E2

Flush and Spring

11
H8

Maritime cliff and slope

10
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
W10

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

19
W08

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

16
W09

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

15
MG05

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

14
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

12
W07

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

12
MG06

Lolium perenne - Cynosurus cristatus [Perennial ryegrass/Crested dog's tail] grassland

11
M15

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

10
CG10

Festuca ovina - Agrostis capillaris - Thymus polythricus [Sheeps Fescue/Common Bent/Wild Thyme] grassland

9
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

9
Site Notables
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
13-07-20

Bright and breezy again; time for a return visit to Sandford Heath:

  • Found a new site for bee-wolf; they do seem to be getting established here on the sry heaths now
  • The pond was surprisingly quiet with no dragonflies or damselflies although there was a golden-ringed dragonfly nearby
  • The first time I have seen a common lizard here although they must surely be numerous 
view
The number of species recorded per species group: