Corfe Castle Common
An extensive area of undisturbed grassland south of Corfe Castle with an outstanding display of flowers.
|Site Name||Corfe Castle Common|
|Site Projects||Exploring Environments 2022|
|Corfe Castle Common|
Corfe Castle Common: unique not common -
Corfe Castle Common is a large area of common land lying to the south and east of the village. Being common land it has been extensively grazed for countless years and the ground has never been ploughed and so It has remarkable flora including a impressive display of heath spotted orchids in June each year. The floral diversity is enhanced by variable habitats from a dry ridge to damp and boggy valleys, a couple of ponds and gentle grassy slopes. Any visit from April to September will yield wonderful displays of flora, the like that is rarely seen these days.
A further point of interest is that the common is bounded to the south by the limestone of the Purbeck cliffs and to the north by the chalk of the Purbeck ridge and so one would expect the land in between to be predominantly alkaline but there is a complete absence of chalk grassland species, most of the flowers are those you would associate with heathland or acid soils.
Of course, the presence of so many flowers means there are numerous insects and that, in turn means some birds that feed on insects are present although the absence of a number of trees and shrubs means that this is not an avian hotspot.
|NVC Community||Description||No of Species|
Cynosurus cristatus - Centaurea nigra [Crested Dogs-tail/Black knapweed] grassland
Juncus effusus - Galium palustre [Soft Rush/Marsh Bedstraw] rush pasture
Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland
Quercus robur - Pteridium aquilinum - Rubus fruticosus [Pedunculate Oak/Bracken/Bramble] woodland
Fraxinus excelsior - Acer campestre - Mercurialis perennis [Ash/Field Maple/Dog's Mercury] woodland
Fraxinus excelsior - Sorbus aucuparia - Mercurialis perennis [Ash/Rowan/Dog's Mercury] woodland
Alnus - Fraxinus - Lysimachia nemorum [Alder/Ash/Yellow Pimpernel] woodland
Molinia caerulea - Cirsium dissectum [Purple Moor Grass/Meadow Thistle] fen meadow
Filipendula ulmaria - Angelica sylvestris [Meadowsweet/Wild Angelica] mire
Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland