West Bexington Nature Reserve and Cogden Beach

A large shingle beach to one side with reed bed and damp pasture behind

 

Site Name West Bexington Nature Reserve and Cogden Beach
Protection
  • Dorset Wildlife Trust
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
3
County Dorset
More Information https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/west-bexington
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1002654…
Site Projects
West Bexington Nature Reserve and Cogden Beach

West Bexington and Cogden Beach: a dose of the shingles -

The Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve at West Bexington, as far as I am aware, is mainly a large area of reed bed behind the high shingle beach and is primarily of interest for nesting birds that specialise in such a habitat. However, there is much,much more to the area than that and so I have included the shingle beach and the south coast footpath that runs through rough pastures behind the beach in my notes and in my records.

Frankly, the shingle beech on the side sheltered from the sea is amazing! It is hard to understand quite how so many flowers can take root and survive in what, on the surface anyway, appears to be just stones! Sea campion, sea kale, common mallow, thrift, and so many others are a real picture and worth the visit let alone the birds that are thrown in to add a bit extra. 

There is a choice of access. You can park in the council car park at West Bexington (£3.50 for three hours) or in the much smaller National Trust car park at Cogden Beach. However, in summer access can be difficult being popular as a beach. Other times of year then during the week is usually OK but weekends can still be difficult, especially when one of the frequent sea fishing events is taking place. Walking along the shingle can be hard work too so be prepared!

A cracking reed bed and lake with some interesting sea shore plants, especially shingle ones makes West Bexington well worth a visit. I wish it was closer to home, I would be there more often if it was.    

West Bexington Nature Reserve and Cogden Beach

50.686866707551, -2.6923997217525
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
B3

Calcareous Grassland

11
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

9
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
H8

Maritime cliff and slope

9
B5

Marsh/marshy Grassland

8
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

7
A2

Scrub

7
E3

Fen and carr

7
H4

Rocks above high tide mark

6
E2

Flush and Spring

5
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
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

7
W10

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

5
M23

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

5
W08

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

4
W22

Prunus spinosa - Rubus fruticosus [Blackthorn/Bramble] scrub

4
M24

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

4
M25

Molinia caerulea - Potentilla erecta [Purple Moor Grass/Tormentil] mire

4
M27

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

4
MG06

Lolium perenne - Cynosurus cristatus [Perennial ryegrass/Crested dog's tail] grassland

4
MG07

Lolium perenne [Perennial ryegrass] and related species grassland

4
Site Notables
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The number of species recorded per species group: