Stephens Castle Local Nature Reserve
An interesting combination of high ground that is predominantly sandy and lower ground that is water logged and boggy.
|Site Name||Stephens Castle Local Nature Reserve|
|Stephens Castle Local Nature Reserve|
Stephens Castle Local Nature Reserve: a real gem -
In my travels around the nature reserves and special places of Dorset I find some real gems. They take me by surprise as I set out with low expectations sometimes and I find something totally unexpected when I arrive. Stephens Castle was certainly one of those surprises and is a true gem. It covers a larger area than I had anticipated and is a strange combination of high ground that is predominantly sandy and lower ground that is water logged and boggy. Heath land it may be but there is something a little different about Stephens Castle that I find it hard to define.
Sadly, on the day I visited it was not really ideal for dragonflies and damselflies but I suspect later in the season they abound given the acid pools and myre.
Full credit to the Council that have provided a good quality accessible path around the reserve but there are also plenty of opportunities to wander off this main path and explore the marshy areas, the sandy stretches and to wander in and out of the scrub. I am sure my species list really does not do justice to this lovely reserve.
Whilst visiting Verwood for Stephens Castle why not take a look at nearby Bugdens Copse and/or Dewlands Common?
|NVC Community||Description||No of Species|
Quercus robur - Pteridium aquilinum - Rubus fruticosus [Pedunculate Oak/Bracken/Bramble] woodland
Trichophorum germanicum - Erica tetralix [Deer-grass/Cross-leaved heath] wet heath
Fraxinus excelsior - Sorbus aucuparia - Mercurialis perennis [Ash/Rowan/Dog's Mercury] woodland
Erica tetralix - Sphagnum compactum [Cross-leaved heath/Compact Bog-moss] wet heath
Fraxinus excelsior - Acer campestre - Mercurialis perennis [Ash/Field Maple/Dog's Mercury] woodland
Betula pubescens - Molinia caerulea [Downy Birch/Purple Moor Grass] woodland
Alnus - Fraxinus - Lysimachia nemorum [Alder/Ash/Yellow Pimpernel] woodland
Cynosurus cristatus - Centaurea nigra [Crested Dogs-tail/Black knapweed] grassland
Lolium perenne - Cynosurus cristatus [Perennial ryegrass/Crested dog's tail] grassland
Calluna vulgaris - Erica cinerea [Ling/Bell Heather] heath