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
Protection
  • Dorset Council
  • Local Nature Reserve
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
2
County Dorset
More Information https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteLNRDetail.aspx?SiteCode=L1009…
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1001978…
Site Projects
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?  

Stephens Castle Local Nature Reserve

50.885705506376, -1.8743900490902
Dorset Council, Local Nature Reserve, 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
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

12
E3

Fen and carr

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
H6

Sand Dunes

11
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

11
E1

Bog

10
E2

Flush and Spring

10
A2

Scrub

9
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
W10

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

13
M15

Trichophorum germanicum - Erica tetralix [Deer-grass/Cross-leaved heath] wet heath

11
W09

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

9
M16

Erica tetralix - Sphagnum compactum [Cross-leaved heath/Compact Bog-moss] wet heath

8
W08

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

8
W04

Betula pubescens - Molinia caerulea [Downy Birch/Purple Moor Grass] woodland

7
W07

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

7
MG05

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

7
MG06

Lolium perenne - Cynosurus cristatus [Perennial ryegrass/Crested dog's tail] grassland

7
H10

Calluna vulgaris - Erica cinerea [Ling/Bell Heather] heath

6
Site Notables
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
17-06-13

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The number of species recorded per species group: