Garston Wood Nature Reserve

A much overlooked RSPB reserve packed with interest, not necessarily for birds but for woodland flora and is especially good for buterflies

 

Site Name Garston Wood Nature Reserve
Protection
  • RSPB
Interest
5
County Dorset
More Information https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/garston-wood/
SSSI
Site Projects
Garston Wood Nature Reserve

Garston Wood: a truly ancient wood -

I try hard not to have 'favourite' woodlands or other sites for that matter; I try to enjoy each one I visit and admire the nature it has to offer me. Having said that there are some special places that stand out in one's memory and to where one will return as frequently as one can without ignoring the many other delights to be found. One of those special places in Dorset for me is Garston Wood. The RSPB has excellent reserves in Dorset at Arne and Radipole/Lodmoor which are well known and well visited but their reserve at Garston Wood is the forgotten one; not forgotten by the RSPB, however, that have put considerable effort in to restoring a once neglected woodland habitat.

Garston Wood is undoubtedly ancient woodland, you can tell that from the abundance of indicator species as well as the abundance of each indicator species. In spring there are carpets of bluebells and ramsons and amazing numbers of wood anemone. You also find yellow archangel, butcher's broom and others in some abundance too.

Garston is not a "one trick pony" however, it has something to offer the nature lover at almost any time of year; flowers and bird song in spring, more flowers and fine butterflies in summer and colourful leaves and diverse fungi in autumn. In winter the lichens and mosses are more evident once the summer vegetation has died back. This is not a large woodland, it is a fine woodland and I urge all nature lovers who live in Dorset or who are visiting Dorset to spend a few hours there.   

Garston Wood Nature Reserve

50.97653184116, -1.9986157218924
RSPB
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
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

14
D1

Dwarf Shrub Heath

13
A2

Scrub

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
H6

Sand Dunes

11
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
B5

Marsh/marshy Grassland

8
F2

Water Margin & Inundation Vegetation

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

54
W09

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

49
W10

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

41
W07

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

27
MG05

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

22
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

20
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

18
W22

Prunus spinosa - Rubus fruticosus [Blackthorn/Bramble] scrub

13
W12

Fagus sylvatica - Mercurialis perennis [Beech/Dog's mercury] woodland

12
MG06

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

11
Site Notables
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The number of species recorded per species group: