Parley Common Nature Reserve

An extensive area of heathland on the edge of Bournemouth and of high ecological value

 

Site Name Parley Common Nature Reserve
Protection
  • Amphibian & Reptile Conservation
  • Dorset Council
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
3
County Dorset
More Information https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/countryside-coast-parks/countryside-sites-and-…
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1000013…
Site Projects
Parley Common Nature Reserve

Parley Common Nature Reserve: part of the Great Heath -

When I walked on to Parley Common and looked around I confess that I thought to myself that it was not going to take long to look round. Two and half hours later when I returned to my car I had probably only seen a third of what I could have in terms of area. Parley Common is a big site for one so enscl0sed by suburban Bournemouth and one we are so fortunate that has been spared the extensive post war development in this area. In 2014 it was purchased from Canford Estate and now forms part of the Great Heaths project and it is now managed by a consortium of organisations including the County Council, Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (previously the Herpetological Society) as it is a known site for sand lizard and smooth snake. Indeed,

I understand the first record of a smooth snake in this country came from Parley Common back in early Victorian times!  Being from Purbeck and knowing the Purbeck heaths well I immediately noted differences between them and this heathland. The soil is much sandier here on the north side of Poole harbour and is generally much drier. As a result the pale mauve ling is the dominant heather whereas in Purbeck we have the rich purple bell heather. The gorse is different too being mainly western gorse that flowers in later summer whereas in Purbeck we have European gorse which flowers in early spring. There are other subtle differences and to those who think all heath is the same, dull and boring, I urge you to take a closer look.  

Parley Common Nature Reserve

50.791718300979, -1.8776160723108
Amphibian & Reptile Conservation, Dorset Council, 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
D1

Dwarf Shrub Heath

17
E3

Fen and carr

14
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

13
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
A2

Scrub

10
B3

Calcareous Grassland

10
E1

Bog

10
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

10
E2

Flush and Spring

9
F2

Water Margin & Inundation Vegetation

9
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
M15

Trichophorum germanicum - Erica tetralix [Deer-grass/Cross-leaved heath] wet heath

12
W10

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

12
W08

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

9
W09

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

9
W07

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

9
M16

Erica tetralix - Sphagnum compactum [Cross-leaved heath/Compact Bog-moss] wet heath

8
M23

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

6
H03

Ulex minor - Agrostis curtisii [Dwarf gorse/Bristle bent] heath

5
H04

Ulex gallii - Agrostis curtisii [Western gorse/Bristle bent] heath

5
W16

Quercus - Betula - Deschampsia flexuosa [Oak/Birch/Wavy Hair-grass] woodland

5
Site Notables
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
09-08-13

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view
The number of species recorded per species group: