Kilwood Coppice Nature Reserve

A superb Dorset Wildlife Trust woodland reserve in the heart of the Isle of Purbeck.


Site Name Kilwood Coppice Nature Reserve
  • Dorset Wildlife Trust
County Dorset
More Information
Site Projects Purbeck Coast
Kilwood Coppice Nature Reserve

Kilwood Coppice Nature Reserve: Nature fights back -

Any time of year is a good time to go to the Dorset Wildlife Trust Reserve at Kilwood; there is always lots of interest to see. The very best time, however, is the last week in April or the first week in May when the woodland floor is the most amazing sight. There are acres of ramsons (or wild garlic) that make the most wonderful white carpet. almost like snow, and I have to say that it is one of the most memorable floral sights I have ever seen, even outstripping bluebell woods.

Up until a hundred years or so ago this area was subject to extensive clay extraction but nature has reclaimed and recolonised the remnants of the industrial past. There is now lots of natural interest, especially around the deserted clay pits which now form wildlife ponds. The spoil heaps too are rich in species. Expect the unexpected at Kilwood!

The recovered clay working is only part of the story of Kilwood. To get to the main woodland where the ramsons and bluebells are you start with a walk down a country lane with hedgerow on either side. You then pass the clay workings and come to rough pasture where the working horses once ate their lunch (and tea, supper, breakfast, etc!). Pressing on you come to hazel coppice and damp woodland before the reward, the oak and beech woodland where the ramsons can be found in spring.

One small word of warning. As the soil is clay it can get very wet and muddy so even in summer make sure you start out with sturdy, waterproof footwear.    

Kilwood Coppice Nature Reserve

50.640275261931, -2.0876251990513
Dorset Wildlife Trust
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
80% 6
60% 49
40% 111
20% 205
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 34
H: Coastal 30
A: Woodland 26
D: Heath 25
E: Bog and Fen 23
J: Brownfield 21
F: Water Margin 16
C: Upland Habitats 6
G: Fresh Water 1
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes Project Click for records and photos

A sunny afternoon but a chilly breeze:

  • The annual pilgrimage to see the…

A decent afternoon and just right for a stroll at Kilwood:

  • 88 species recorded…