Slepe Heath

An area of heathland, until recently conifer plantation, where the National Trust are now engaged in habitat restoration.  

Site Name Slepe Heath
Protection
  • National Trust
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
4
County Dorset
More Information
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1002993…
Site Projects Purbeck Heaths
Slepe Heath

Slepe Heath: No longer asleep -

When we moved to Dorset in 2006 Slepe Heath was covered by a conifer plantation and was not worth visiting. Not long after our arrival it was acquired by the National Trust and the conifers were removed and restoration to heathland habitat was soon underway. Now this is one of the main sites in Purbeck for many scarce heathland specialist insects including the heath tiger beetle , the heath bee-fly and the heath sand wasp. There are more significant animals and plants here too many of which the casual visitor will never see but they all add up to making Slepe Heath a bit special.

From the casual visitors perspective, as opposed to the dedicated naturalist, it is a bleak, unforgiving landscape with the paths on the higher ground barely recognisable in places and soft, sandy and difficult in others. That said, the main path across the area is quite reasonable for most walkers. 

Whilst dry heath on higher ground as the ground slopes down towards Hartland Moor to the south it becomes boggy and specialist plants can be found here including a good display of bog asphodel. I suspect, but I have never found them, there are marsh gentian here too. The path through here has a good number of round-leaved sundew.

Mid-summer is the best time to visit Slepe Heath unless you are keen on birds when winter can produce an interesting array of visitors including merlin and, occasionally, short-eared owl.

Slepe Heath

50.674493556365, -2.0694411512866
National Trust, Site of Scientific Interest
4
This table indicates how many species of each of five interest levels there are on this site. 100% are highly interesting species whereas 20% are common species that are of no specific interest. Click/tap an intetest level to see the species for that interest level:
Species Interest Level No of Species
100% 3
80% 3
60% 22
40% 43
20% 103
Site Notables
The number of species recorded per species group:
This is the number of species recorded on this site grouped by the Phase 1 habitat classification they are often associated with. It gives an overview of the type of habitats that MAY occur on this site. Click/tap a classification to see greater detail of the composition of habitat types within this class:
Phase 1 Habitat Classification No of Species
B: Grassland 32
H: Coastal 27
A: Woodland 26
E: Bog and Fen 26
D: Heath 25
J: Brownfield 12
F: Water Margin 6
C: Upland Habitats 5
G: Fresh Water 1
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes Project Click for records and photos
17-06-20

Sunny again with white fluffy clouds and quite warm

  • The nationally scarce yellow…
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07-07-19

There is no information about this visit

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18-04-19

There is no information about this visit

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17-09-18

There is no information about this visit

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14-05-17

There is no information about this visit

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