Sopley Common Nature Reserve

A significant area of heathland of varying types with some high dry, sandy areas and low boggy areas which have interesting pools. 

 

Site Name Sopley Common Nature Reserve
Protection
  • Dorset Wildlife Trust
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
3
County Dorset
More Information https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/sopley-common
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S2000439…
Site Projects
Sopley Common Nature Reserve

Sopley Common: a split personality -

Sopley Common is a significant area of heath of varying types with some high, sandy areas and low boggy areas which have interesting bog pools. There are also woodland areas, both broad-leaved and coniferous. When the heather is out is a particularly lovely area; the heath is more akin to the New Forest rather than the Purbeck heath with a greater proportion of ling than bell heather. As a result the colouring is more of a delicate mauve than a deep purple.

The reserve is on both sides of the Ringwood road, each with their separate entrance so don't miss out and visit one half and think you have finished! The western side is quite sandy and dry with ling and dwarf gorse. The eastern side is much wetter with boggy areas and lots of rushes and damp ground loving plants. The boggy pools are largely inaccessible as the ground is very wet but you can get to some to see the dragonflies, damselflies and raft spiders.

I suppose the downside to Sopley is the proximity of Bournemouth International Airport and two busy roads so it is not the most peaceful of walks but the flowers and insects are not bothered and there are plenty of these to see. It is certainly well worth a visit, especially in late summer.  

Sopley Common Nature Reserve

50.776587479847, -1.8245013684368
Dorset Wildlife Trust, Site of Scientific Interest
3
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
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

14
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
A2

Scrub

11
E3

Fen and carr

11
E1

Bog

10
H6

Sand Dunes

10
E2

Flush and Spring

8
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
M15

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

10
W10

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

9
W08

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

8
W09

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

8
M16

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

7
W16

Quercus - Betula - Deschampsia flexuosa [Oak/Birch/Wavy Hair-grass] woodland

7
W04

Betula pubescens - Molinia caerulea [Downy Birch/Purple Moor Grass] woodland

6
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

6
W07

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

5
H03

Ulex minor - Agrostis curtisii [Dwarf gorse/Bristle bent] heath

5
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
04-09-12

.

view
The number of species recorded per species group: