Corfe Castle Common

An extensive area of undisturbed grassland south of Corfe Castle with an outstanding display of flowers.

 

Site Name Corfe Castle Common
Protection
  • National Trust
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
5
County Dorset
More Information https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle/features/corfe-common
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1003357…
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.  

Corfe Castle Common

50.627804981569, -2.0602986012313
National Trust, 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
E3

Fen and carr

16
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
E2

Flush and Spring

15
H6

Sand Dunes

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
F2

Water Margin & Inundation Vegetation

14
A2

Scrub

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
E1

Bog

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
MG05

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

25
M23

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

23
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

22
W10

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

22
W08

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

19
W09

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

19
W07

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

17
M24

Molinia caerulea - Cirsium dissectum [Purple Moor Grass/Meadow Thistle] fen meadow

15
M27

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

15
CG03

Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland

14
The number of species recorded per species group: