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
Protection
  • Dorset Wildlife Trust
Interest
5
County Dorset
More Information https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/kilwood
SSSI
Site Projects
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
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
H6

Sand Dunes

18
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

18
F2

Water Margin & Inundation Vegetation

16
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
A2

Scrub

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
B2

Neutral Grassland

10
E2

Flush and Spring

10
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

43
W09

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

42
W10

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

39
W07

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

31
MG05

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

25
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

24
M23

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

21
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

18
CG03

Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland

17
M27

Filipendula ulmaria - Angelica sylvestris [Meadowsweet/Wild Angelica] mire

17
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
06-07-20

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

  • 88 species recorded without really trying! 
  • Good numbers of butterflies about but not a great range of species
  • Kilwood clay pits have changed so much in the 15 years we have been visiting
view
The number of species recorded per species group: