Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve

Not just a nature reserve, it is the home of the Dorset Wildlife Trust Conservation Centre, with several damp grassy meadows with an abundance of flora and fauna.

 

Site Name Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve
Protection
  • Dorset Wildlife Trust
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
4
County Dorset
More Information https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/lorton-meadows
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1003117…
Site Projects
Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve

Lorton Meadows: the Dorset Wildlife Trust Conservation Centre -

Lorton Meadows in not just a nature reserve, it is the home of the Dorset Wildlife Trust Conservation Centre. Much good work is done here, mainly with younger people and it has a full programme of events for families, especially during the school holidays. I chose a day when there was nothing in the programme and struck lucky! Not only was it a fine, warm afternoon but my car was the only one in the car park and, in two hours meandering around the meadows, I saw no one else. That suits me fine!

As the name implies, Lorton Meadows comprises several grassy meadows. These meadows can be quite wet after rain but quickly drain and become dry. The damp aspect ensures a range of rushes and sedges and damp favouring flowers such as corky-fruited water-dropwort and marsh thistle. There are dry grassland species as well including the quite rare grass vetchling. To add to the interest the RSPB reserve at Lodmoor is close by and Two-mile Copse runs adjacent to the reserve. These two other areas of natural interest inevitably leads to a degree of cross over of species between them all, especially birds.

One final comment. The new Weymouth relief road and the main railway line both run very close to this reserve. Whilst I will acknowledge that my hearing is not what it once was I heard virtually no noise from either of these and in no way did they spoil my enjoyment of this site. To cap a lovely afternoon, the views from the highest points on the reserve across Lodmoor and out to Weymouth bay  are very pleasing. Would I recommend a visit to Lorton Meadows? I certainly would, especially on one of its quiet days.   

Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve

50.640761618363, -2.4528553902312
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
H6

Sand Dunes

16
H8

Maritime cliff and slope

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

13
A2

Scrub

12
H2

Saltmarsh

11
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
F2

Water Margin & Inundation Vegetation

9
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

8
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
MG05

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

18
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

17
W08

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

17
W07

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

16
W09

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

15
CG02

Festuca ovina - Helictotrichon pratense [Sheep's Fescue/Meadow Oat-grass] grassland

12
W10

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

12
CG03

Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland

11
MG06

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

11
CG06

Helictotrichon pubescens [Downy Oat-grass] grassland

10
Site Notables
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
03-07-13

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The number of species recorded per species group:
Title No of Species Recorded
Flowering Plants 98
Insects & other inverts 28
Birds 21
Mammals 4
Non-flowering Plants 1