Sunnyside Farm

A redundant farm now part of the Stoborough Heath National Nature Reserve

Site Name Sunnyside Farm
Protection
  • National Nature Reserve
Interest
3
County Dorset
More Information
SSSI
Site Projects Wareham Wanders 2022
Sunnyside Farm

Sunnyside Farm: Look on the bright side -

I originally included my records for Sunnyside Farm in with those for Stoborough Heath as together they form a National Nature Reserve but recently a scrape has been created to encourage wildfowl and waders to the site in winter and so the farm is now worthy of an entry of its own! It will take a while to sort out and move the Sunnyside records across but I have made a start ...

The farm does not appear to have ever been cultivated and has presumably always been grazing pasture; it appears the meadows have never been subject to 'improvement' for grazing.  As a result the meadows are a picture in summer with the yellow of a range of acid grassland flowers. Some of the meadows are damp in places which adds to the variety. 

The only information I can find about Sunnyside is a short note in the Stoborough Heath information leaflet which says "Stoborough Heath also includes the 67 hectare Sunnyside Farm, which is home to rare plants including marsh orchids, smooth cat’s ear and brown-beak sedge." I have found the orchids, including the scarce early marsh orchid but the smooth cat's ear and the brown beak sedge have always eluded me.

The meadows are split either side of the old tramway and I have included records from here in those for Sunnyside from the car park as far as the first gate. The tramway has wonderful hedgerow scrub either side and is a good site for wild flowers and insects, especially butterflies although there are no rarities here.

Visit Sunnyside in May and June for the flowers, July for insects along the tramway and in winter for birds on the scrape.

Sunnyside Farm

50.675527013999, -2.0887530539281
National Nature Reserve
3
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
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
H6

Sand Dunes

13
A2

Scrub

12
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
E3

Fen and carr

10
H8

Maritime cliff and slope

10
B2

Neutral Grassland

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

16
MG05

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

15
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

14
M23

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

14
W07

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

13
W09

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

12
W08

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

11
MG06

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

11
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

10
MG07

Lolium perenne [Perennial ryegrass] and related species grassland

10
Site Notables
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
31-07-19

There is no information about this visit

view
26-06-20

Big change in the weather to overcast, humid and windy

  • Surprising amount of yellow bartsia scattered in the meadows
  • a single flax plant, presumably a remnant of a previous crop here?
  • Otherwise the meadows full of more common flowers and grasses
view
24-07-20

A breezy afternoon but sunny so off to Sunnyside!

  • Everywhere is so dry and most of the flora is now over
  • Another new site for marbled white
  • Just new species recorded as we visited quite recently
view
Project: Wareham Wanders 2022
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
14-01-22

The third day in a row of blue skies and sunshine and not overly cold:

  • Reccie visit for my Wareham Wanders project
  • Not much to see this time of year
  • Good exercise on a nice afternoon 
Wareham Wanders 2022 view
The number of species recorded per species group: