Stokeford Heath

A pleasant walk between abandoned and overgrown gravel pits on one side and a golf course on the other.    

Site Name Stokeford Heath
Protection
  • Open Access
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
4
County Dorset
More Information
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S2000032…
Site Projects
Stokeford Heath

Stokeford Heath: Out of bounds! -

Sadly, much of the original Stokeford Heath is now lost and is inaccessible. The extensive complex of mineral extraction pits have long since been abandoned which has left deep and dangerous ponds. Nature, though, has done a wonderful job recovering these pits and I am sure the deep undergrowth and ponds have lots of interesting species but you cannot get to see them!

The ponds are on one side of the footpath whilst the East Dorset Golf Club is on the other. Once prime heathland the area is now a well maintained amenity which retains some wildlife value but the original heathland species will mainly have all gone. Beyond the golf course you come to the scout and youth camp at Buddens Farm so there are restrictions on access here too and much of the area has been 'improved' for recreational use.

Carry on through the scout camp and you come to more abandoned ruins of earlier gravel extraction which has, again, been recolonised by nature.

All things considered it makes for an interesting walk with lots of plants to see although none a scarce or special. You do need to watch out for golfers and stray golf balls though!  

Stokeford Heath

50.714564138988, -2.1884883111564
Open Access, 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
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

13
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
A2

Scrub

11
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

11
H6

Sand Dunes

10
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
E3

Fen and carr

9
F2

Water Margin & Inundation Vegetation

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

23
W09

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

22
W10

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

22
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

14
MG05

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

14
W07

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

13
W22

Prunus spinosa - Rubus fruticosus [Blackthorn/Bramble] scrub

11
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

11
M23

Juncus effusus - Galium palustre [Soft Rush/Marsh Bedstraw] rush pasture

9
MG06

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

9
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
20-06-20

A sunny but blustery afternoon so grateful for the protection of some trees:

  • Not the most interesting of walks but still topped 60 species
  • Very few birds but the swans on one of the lakes had eight well grown cygnets
  • The golf course and the scout camp eerily quiet for a Saturday
view
The number of species recorded per species group: