Stoborough Heath National Nature Reserve

A national nature reserve covering a large area south-east of Wareham and is adjacent to Hartland Moor which makes for a large expanse of precious Dorset heath. 

 

Site Name Stoborough Heath National Nature Reserve
Protection
  • National Nature Reserve
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
5
County Dorset
More Information https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dorsets-national-nature-reserves/dor…
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1003232…
Site Projects
Stoborough Heath National Nature Reserve

Stoborough Heath National Nature Reserve: standing proud -

Along the south western shore of Poole Harbour there are three major nature reserves that stretch for four miles from Stoborough (near Wareham) to Arne Point. Together with the small reserve of Slepe Heath these make a contiguous area of protected heath covering ten square miles or so. Being an internationally important habitat it is good to know that such a large area is protected and managed for future generations. Two of the three reserves, the RSPB reserve at Arne and the National Nature Reserve at Hartland Moor are well known and it seems that Stoborough Heath is the forgotten cousin! Stoborough Heath, though, is a National Nature Reserve in its own right and can stand proudly as a key part of this triumvirate.

It's species list is very impressive and it contains a series of sub-habitats that adds variety to the underlying heath and acid grassland terrain. Once farmed (Sunnyside Farm still exists) the area has no crops nowadays and has been returned to its natural habitat although areas of acid grassland still remain from the era of heavy grazing by livestock.  

One of the main features for the visitor is the track of the long since abandoned tramway that used to take horse-drawn loads of clay down to the shore of Poole Harbour for loading on to boats. This track, now bordered on both sides by hedgerow, provides easy walking through the centre of the reserve from where the surrounding bog and myre can be safely surveyed.   

Stoborough Heath National Nature Reserve

50.671330472218, -2.0907978413688
National Nature Reserve, Site of Scientific Interest
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
D1

Dwarf Shrub Heath

20
E2

Flush and Spring

16
E3

Fen and carr

16
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
H6

Sand Dunes

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
F2

Water Margin & Inundation Vegetation

14
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

14
A2

Scrub

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
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
MG05

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

27
W10

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

26
M23

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

23
M15

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

22
W09

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

21
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

21
W08

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

21
W07

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

18
CG10

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

16
M16

Erica tetralix - Sphagnum compactum [Cross-leaved heath/Compact Bog-moss] wet heath

16
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
18-08-18

There is no information for this visit

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19-05-19

There is no information for this visit

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06-02-20

There is no information for this visit

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03-08-20

Another bright and breezy afternoon so off to Stoborough Heath:

  • We walked the higher area of dry heath/acid grassland mosaic
  • Lots of gatekeepers but no other significant insects
  • Surprised at how compact rush is so frequent here rather than soft rush
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The number of species recorded per species group: