Grassland and scrub at the high end of Portland affording marvellous views of the Purbeck coast
|Site Name||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!
|NVC Community||Description||No of Species|
Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland
Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland
Festuca ovina - Pilosella officinarum - Thymus polytrichum [Sheeps Fescue/Mouse-ear hawkweed/Wild Thyme] grassland
Festuca ovina - Helictotrichon pratense [Sheep's Fescue/Meadow Oat-grass] grassland
Cynosurus cristatus - Centaurea nigra [Crested Dogs-tail/Black knapweed] grassland
Helictotrichon pubescens [Downy Oat-grass] grassland
Festuca ovina - Calluna vulgaris [Sheeps Fescue/Ling] grassland
Festuca ovina - Agrostis capillaris - Thymus polythricus [Sheeps Fescue/Common Bent/Wild Thyme] grassland
Fraxinus excelsior - Acer campestre - Mercurialis perennis [Ash/Field Maple/Dog's Mercury] woodland
Quercus robur - Pteridium aquilinum - Rubus fruticosus [Pedunculate Oak/Bracken/Bramble] woodland