Fontmell Down Nature Reserve

Wonderful views and fascinating natural interest, especially butterflies.

 

Site Name Fontmell Down Nature Reserve
Protection
  • Dorset Wildlife Trust
  • National Trust
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
5
County Dorset
More Information https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/fontmell-down
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1003472…
Site Projects
Fontmell Down Nature Reserve

Fontmell Down Nature Reserve: wonderful viewing -

Fontmell Down is a large site and probably needs more than one visit to do it justice. A mix of chalk downland, scrub and woodland it is particularly noted as one of the few sites in the county (country even) for chalkhill blue and silver-spotted skipper, both seen in August. There is a path that runs down from the car park on Spread Eagle Hill towards Compton Abbas and this path has the most wonderful wild flower verges with lots of insects to be seen.

Most of the area is owned by the National Trust but the best part for nature is, naturally, owned and managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust.

The top of the the down gives wonderful views across the north of Dorset and are worth a visit alone but the wildlife and plants make it very special indeed. A must on a warm summer day but it can be pretty bleak in bad weather. There are some steep slopes too and only limited parking exists, see local information boards for details. Please do not let these few small negatives put you off visiting what is undoubtedly a top ten site in the whole of Dorset.  

Fontmell Down Nature Reserve

50.971761102496, -2.1625902140529
Dorset Wildlife Trust, 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
H6

Sand Dunes

18
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

15
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
A2

Scrub

11
H8

Maritime cliff and slope

10
B2

Neutral Grassland

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
CG03

Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland

29
CG02

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

28
W09

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

28
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

26
MG05

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

26
CG06

Helictotrichon pubescens [Downy Oat-grass] grassland

26
CG07

Festuca ovina - Pilosella officinarum - Thymus polytrichum [Sheeps Fescue/Mouse-ear hawkweed/Wild Thyme] grassland

24
CG01

Festuca ovina - Calluna vulgaris [Sheeps Fescue/Ling] grassland

22
W10

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

19
The number of species recorded per species group: