Bracketts Coppice Nature Reserve

An excellent Dorset Wildlife Trust Reserve with a diverse array of habitat and wide range of floral species.

 

Site Name Bracketts Coppice Nature Reserve
Protection
  • Dorset Wildlife Trust
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
4
County Dorset
More Information https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/bracketts-coppice
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1002524…
Site Projects
Bracketts Coppice Nature Reserve

Brackett's Coppice: buy one get one free! -

The Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve at Brackett's Coppice is certainly a must for the nature enthusiast. Although called a copse the reserve covers quite a large area and along with the old coppiced woodland there are some wonderful hay meadows. It is like two reserves in one with such differing habitat types so close together and yet giving totally different species. It is certainly a special place in a remote area of north western Dorset where there is no sound of traffic and few other distractions, it is just you and nature.

The copse itself is actually a wooded river valley. Steep sides lead down through the woods to a fast flowing stream at the bottom. There are records of dipper and kingfisher from here but I am not sure whether that is current or somewhat historical. I certainly saw no trace of either but then I was not there very long! The woodland has a diverse spring flora (including bird's-nest orchid) together with many singing birds and later in the year ferns become well established. One word of warning though, the steep paths can also be very muddy and so do not venture there without Wellington boots and take extreme care, especially if alone.

The hay meadows are something else! Recalling Kingcombe in many ways these fields seem to have been left unimproved and are a mass of flowers and grasses including the best display of common spotted orchids I have seen for some time.  Where there are damp meadows like this the marsh fritillary can be found and there is a reasonable colony here in late May/early June. There are, of course, lots of other insects too.

There is actually a third area of differing habitat which once had conifers on it but these have been removed to give a wild, damp, scrubby area that is quickly regenerating with natural flora.

I really cannot recommend a visit to Bracketts Coppice enough, it is a top site but do watch out for the very damp, muddy conditions underfoot.    

Bracketts Coppice Nature Reserve

50.862011734327, -2.6929042728791
Dorset Wildlife Trust, Site of Scientific Interest
4
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

17
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
A2

Scrub

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
E2

Flush and Spring

10
H6

Sand Dunes

10
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
H8

Maritime cliff and slope

9
B5

Marsh/marshy Grassland

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
W08

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

32
W09

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

30
W10

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

28
W07

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

25
MG05

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

22
M23

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

16
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

15
MG06

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

13
M27

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

12
M24

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

12
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes Project Click for records and photos
10-06-14

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The number of species recorded per species group: