Nicodemus Heights

Grassland and scrub at the high end of Portland affording marvellous views of the Purbeck coast

 
 

Site Name Nicodemus Heights
Protection
  • Open Access
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
2
County Dorset
More Information
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S2000366…
Site Projects
Nicodemus Heights

Nicodemus Heights: a captive audience -

Nicodemus Heights is a site of special scientific interest set in the north eastern corner of Portland, the high end hence the 'heights' in its name. It is set between the Young Offenders Institution and the formidable Portland prison. I say this to give you orientation, not to discourage you from visiting! It is worth a visit to see the wonderful views of the south Dorset coast stretching right the way to the distant St Aldhelm's Head.

From a nature point of view this is a place for flowers and butterflies. Portland is in some ways an austere place and its also scruffy and untidy but all of that is part of its charm and the flora tends to reflect this with a range of flowers associated with thin soils and waste places. The relatively scarce hawkweed oxtongue being a good example as, too, the viper's bugloss which is as prolific here as I have ever seen it and tall, striking plants too.

Part of Nicodemus Heights is abandoned quarry workings but the ground is flat and easy walking despite this and there are no real hazards to be concerned about. There is a well made path that one can follow towards the prison and nearby view point (with a seat) or one can follow one of the several paths across the grassy areas where the best of the flowers are. This seems to be a rather forgotten and neglected part of Portland but well worth a visit, what is others loss will be your gain!    

Nicodemus Heights

50.564381853301, -2.4296295228559
Open Access, Site of Scientific Interest
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
D1

Dwarf Shrub Heath

20
H6

Sand Dunes

16
B3

Calcareous Grassland

15
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

11
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

10
H8

Maritime cliff and slope

10
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
B5

Marsh/marshy Grassland

8
D3

Lichen/Bryophyte heath

7
A2

Scrub

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
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

15
CG03

Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland

14
CG07

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

14
CG02

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

12
MG05

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

11
CG06

Helictotrichon pubescens [Downy Oat-grass] grassland

11
CG01

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

10
CG10

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

8
W08

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

8
W10

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

7
Site Notables
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
05-07-17

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view
The number of species recorded per species group:
Title No of Species Recorded
Flowering Plants 68
Insects & other inverts 12
Birds 4
Molluscs 1