Michaels Peace Nature Reserve

Wet woodland and myre set in a beautiful part of west Dorset.

 

Site Name Michaels Peace Nature Reserve
Protection
Interest
2
County Dorset
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Michaels Peace Nature Reserve

Michaels Peace: crazy man Michael? -

The name "Michael's Peace" intrigued me before visiting this reserve. I had (and still have) no idea how the name came about but I imagined a quiet spot, miles from anywhere where someone called Michael would go on his day off to enjoy nature, perhaps even do a bit of fishing. Perhaps he had a tormented mind? Indeed, as a great fan of Fairport Convention in my younger days, I was left to wonder whether there was any connection to "Crazy Man Michael"  "Michael he whistles the simplest of tunes and asks the wild woods for their pardon; for his true love is flown into every flower grown and he must be keeper of the garden." Having now visited the reserve I can confirm that much of that is true; I am not sure about the Fairport connection!

It is, indeed, a quiet spot miles from anywhere; it took me three quarters of an hour to find it and I was only five miles away when I started looking! It is just up the road from Toller Whelme, but from what I could see Toller Whelme was probably nothing more than a farm let alone a hamlet. The nearest village was probably Hooke about three miles away.

Peaceful certainly describes it well. The reserve itself is not large and is largely inaccessible (but then it does not to be to be either to be a nature reserve). The central area of the reserve is a pond that appears to be rather silted up now with a reed bed at the western end. The surrounding ground was very wet and muddy which makes for difficult walking and restricts where you can get to but then why bother? Just sit or stand a while, listen to the birds and look at the flowers and trees and enjoy the peace that Michael obviously found here.

This no longer seems to be a Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve and I have no idea whether there is still public access.   

Michaels Peace Nature Reserve

50.805354301164, -2.6802107560068
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
A2

Scrub

11
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

10
B5

Marsh/marshy Grassland

8
B2

Neutral Grassland

7
F2

Water Margin & Inundation Vegetation

7
E3

Fen and carr

6
E2

Flush and Spring

5
F1

Swamp

5
A1.2

Conifer Plantation

4
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

17
W09

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

16
W10

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

15
W07

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

13
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

8
W12

Fagus sylvatica - Mercurialis perennis [Beech/Dog's mercury] woodland

7
W22

Prunus spinosa - Rubus fruticosus [Blackthorn/Bramble] scrub

7
M23

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

7
M27

Filipendula ulmaria - Angelica sylvestris [Meadowsweet/Wild Angelica] mire

6
W25

Rubus fruticosus - Pteridium aquilinum [Bramble/Bracken] underscrub

5
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
13-05-15

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The number of species recorded per species group: