Hog Cliff National Nature Reserve

This is a national nature reserve for good reason! A wonderful chalk escarpment near Maiden Newton.

 

Site Name Hog Cliff National Nature Reserve
Protection
  • National Nature Reserve
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
3
County Dorset
More Information https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dorsets-national-nature-reserves/dor…
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1002732…
Site Projects West Dorset
Hog Cliff National Nature Reserve

Hog Cliff National Nature Reserve: worthy of the status -

After seven years exploring the nature reserves of Dorset I thought I had seen the best and the rest had little extra to offer. The Hog Cliff website did not indicate anything special and so visiting it had been left to the 'clearing up' process I have now reached, going to larger but unspectacular places. When I got there I was, frankly, amazed!

Hog Cliff can be found to the west of the Dorchester to Yeovil road approaching the top of Break Heart Hill. There are no signs, there is no car park, you cannot actually see the reserve from the road and you could drive along that stretch of road and never know Hog Cliff National Nature Reserve is there. When you eventually find it the size of the area covered is still not revealed until you descend a bridle way for about a quarter of a mile and when you look to your left there is a chalk escarpment that runs in a curve for as far as you can see. As you go through the gate and on to the reserve you are just overwhelmed by not only the number of flowers and extent of the chalk grassland but also by the diversity of species as well.

Thinking Hog Cliff would be a bit of a walk over I had already spent two hours at nearby Lankham Bottom and was in no state to tackle the full extent of Hog Cliff. My species list that I did get is probably only a fraction of what is there and my photographs do not do it justice. There is only one way to really appreciate Hog Cliff and that is to visit it and that is something I will have to do again soon but next time I will allow myself most of the day!  

Hog Cliff National Nature Reserve

50.771965170186, -2.5431255704489
National Nature Reserve, Site of Scientific Interest
3
This table indicates how many species of each of five interest levels there are on this site. 100% are highly interesting species whereas 20% are common species that are of no specific interest. Click/tap an intetest level to see the species for that interest level:
Species Interest Level No of Species
80% 3
60% 11
40% 27
20% 60
Site Notables
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3
The number of species recorded per species group:
This is the number of species recorded on this site grouped by the Phase 1 habitat classification they are often associated with. It gives an overview of the type of habitats that MAY occur on this site. Click/tap a classification to see greater detail of the composition of habitat types within this class:
Phase 1 Habitat Classification No of Species
B: Grassland 34
H: Coastal 26
D: Heath 25
A: Woodland 23
E: Bog and Fen 14
J: Brownfield 12
C: Upland Habitats 6
F: Water Margin 5
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes Project Click for records and photos
24-06-14

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