Ashmore Wood

An intriging mix of hazel coppice, ancient woodland, conifer plantation and private woodland for pheasant rearing!

 

Site Name Ashmore Wood
Protection
  • Forestry
  • National Trust
Interest
2
County Dorset
More Information https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/woods/ashmore-wood/
SSSI
Site Projects
Ashmore Wood

Ashmore Wood: or Stubhampton Bottom -

The Forestry Commission sign at the entrance to this wood says Ashmore Wood but the Ordnance Survey map shows it as Stubhampton Bottom. To be fair to the Forestry Commission the Ordnance Survey shows a small piece of the woodland at the eastern end as Ashmore Wood so there is some agreement!

This combination of woodland segments which also encompasses Fontmell Wood, Balfour Wood and West Wood constitutes one the the largest areas of woodland in Dorset. Despite its rural character and extensive open places Dorset is a bit short of real woodland. Like much of what woodland there is here it is managed by the Forestry Commission and is a mixture of natural broad-leaf woodland and areas of planted conifers. The conifers were planted many years ago when wood was a primary resource of building materials but now the trees are approaching maturity plastics and metals have taken their place and much of the timber is now worthless. With the benefit of hindsight it is such a shame so much natural woodland was lost to conifer plantation for no real purpose but all those years ago when it was done things were so different than today.

Despite the areas of conifers Ashmore Wood still retains a good deal of broad-leaf trees and there are extensive areas of hazel too that were once coppiced. Some areas have been opened up for the benefit of butterflies and other insects and it was here I stumbled upon the first Dorset record of the downland bee-fly.

Overall the woodland has a fair mix of wild flowers and insect species and is well worth exploring, especially in mid summer when the paths are lined with common spotted orchids. As with many Forestry Commission woodlands there is a well made pathway through the middle of the wood and is easily accessible but to either side the are steep slopes which I found difficult and would be beyond the capabilities of anyone who is less fit or less able. Overall, though, Ashmore Wood is well worth a visit.  

Ashmore Wood

50.946508961076, -2.1436338070887
Forestry, National Trust
2
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
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
A2

Scrub

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
H6

Sand Dunes

11
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
B5

Marsh/marshy Grassland

8
D1

Dwarf Shrub Heath

6
E2

Flush and Spring

6
F2

Water Margin & Inundation Vegetation

6
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
W09

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

27
W08

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

26
W10

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

26
W07

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

19
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

15
MG05

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

13
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

12
CG03

Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland

11
CG10

Festuca ovina - Agrostis capillaris - Thymus polythricus [Sheeps Fescue/Common Bent/Wild Thyme] grassland

11
CG06

Helictotrichon pubescens [Downy Oat-grass] grassland

10
Site Notables
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes Project Click for records and photos
08-07-15

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15-04-12

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The number of species recorded per species group: