Cashmoor Down

A remnant of chalk grassland on ancient earthworks providing an almost overwhelming display of flowers and butterflies.

 

Site Name Cashmoor Down
Protection
  • Open Access
Interest
3
County Dorset
More Information https://www.dorsetbutterflies.com/places/cashmoor/
SSSI
Site Projects
Cashmoor Down

Cashmoor Down: a floral tribute -

My travels around the nature reserve and wildlife hotspots of Dorset have revealed many delightful surprises, none more so than Cashmoor Down. I had little expectation and so left visiting this site until well down my list (number 178!) and then I left it until late in the season so it was not at its best but, even in late summer, the flora is amazing! Sadly the butterflies were well past their best though.

The visit has a rather innocuous start, an uphill pathway improved for cars because at the top is Wimborne Model Aircraft Flying Club. However, following the path on past the flying club the landscape changes and the flowers start to impress. Further on still and one is overwhelmed by the sheer volume of flowers, especially yellow-rattle and wild basil. Butterflies flit to and fro looking for nectar and bumblebees do what bumblebees do!

There is evidence of ancient earthworks here although nothing is shown on the Ordnance Survey map but obviously the presence of historical earth walls means that the area has escaped agricultural improvement and the ground has lain undisturbed for centuries; it is that that creates such extensive floral displays. I am not sure owns the site but I believe Butterfly Conservation are involved in its management. If that is the case then well done Dorset Butterfly Conservation on yet another first class project.  

Cashmoor Down

50.924505348185, -2.0262132864852
Open Access
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
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

10
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

10
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
B5

Marsh/marshy Grassland

8
H6

Sand Dunes

8
A2

Scrub

7
E3

Fen and carr

7
E2

Flush and Spring

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
CG03

Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland

17
W08

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

17
CG02

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

16
CG06

Helictotrichon pubescens [Downy Oat-grass] grassland

16
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

14
MG05

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

14
CG07

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

14
W09

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

13
CG01

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

11
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

11
Site Notables
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes Project Click for records and photos
19-08-14

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The number of species recorded per species group:
Title No of Species Recorded
Flowering Plants 85
Insects & other inverts 27
Birds 3
Mammals 1
Molluscs 1
Fungi & Lichen 1