Purbeck Ridge (Whiteways Hill and Flowers Barrow)

The Purbeck Ridge from Whiteways car park west to Flowerdown Iron Age Fort lies within the army ranges and therefore access is limited to when the range walks are open.

 

Site Name Purbeck Ridge (Whiteways Hill and Flowers Barrow)
Protection
  • Open Access
Interest
2
County Dorset
More Information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower%27s_Barrow
SSSI
Site Projects
Purbeck Ridge (Whiteways Hill and Flowers Barrow)

Purbeck Ridge (Whiteways Hill and Flowers Barrow): within range -

The walk along the Purbeck Ridge from the Whiteways Hill car park to Flowers Barrow hill fort (and beyond if you wish) lies within the MoD firing ranges for the nearby tank training school based in Bovington and Lulworth. This means that for much of the year it is closed to public access during the week apart from during army holidays which in general correspond to school holidays. It is such a shame that a walk with such lovely views is inaccessible most of the time.

On the plus side, however, the area escaped the agriculture 'improvement' that occurred on the top of the ridge during the war when food production become a priority. The Ministry of Defence commandeered the land before the Ministry of Agriculture could! This means you can see the Purbeck ridge much as it was before the war. Over much of the ranges, apart from tank tracks, the area is unaffected by sprays, fertilisers and farming activity. I find the plant mix here fascinating!

The ridge is undoubtedly chalk and a number of chalk species occur but the appearance is of scrubby heath and a number of plants associated with acid grassland are also present along with a number that prefer neutral soils.  Not being an archaeologist I do not know much about the Flowers Barrow hill fort but it is certainly one of a chain that appear on high ground across the county. From Flowers Barrow you can see Woolsbarrow and Woodbury to the north, the next would be Badbury Rings but that is further away. It appears that some of the Flowers Barrow fort has fallen away due to cliff erosion but the walls are still well defined.  

Purbeck Ridge (Whiteways Hill and Flowers Barrow)

50.62499302032, -2.1934762968124
Open Access
2
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
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
H6

Sand Dunes

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
D1

Dwarf Shrub Heath

14
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
A2

Scrub

11
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
B5

Marsh/marshy Grassland

8
H8

Maritime cliff and slope

8
D3

Lichen/Bryophyte heath

6
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
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

17
MG05

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

16
CG03

Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland

12
CG07

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

12
CG02

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

11
CG06

Helictotrichon pubescens [Downy Oat-grass] grassland

10
CG01

Festuca ovina - Calluna vulgaris [Sheeps Fescue/Ling] grassland

9
CG10

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

8
MG06

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

8
W10

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

7
Site Notables
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
14-10-07

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The number of species recorded per species group: