Thorncombe Wood and Duddle Heath

A remnant of ancient woodland and adjacent heathland near Thomas Hardy's cottage  

Site Name Thorncombe Wood and Duddle Heath
Protection
  • Dorset Council
  • Local Nature Reserve
Interest
5
County Dorset
More Information Dorset Council website
SSSI
Site Projects
Thorncombe Wood and Duddle Heath

Thorncombe Wood: Thomas Hardy's home -

Right next to Thomas Hardy's Cottage, Thorncombe Wood is ancient woodland and is designated as a site of nature conservation interest. Along with neighbouring Duddle Heath it is an interesting site as it contains a mixture of habitat with a large area of broad-leaved trees and some conifer plantation on an underlying foundation of heath. It also features a pond and as a result of this diversity of habitat it follows there will be a diverse array of flora attracting a number of different insects.

Reptiles find the habitat ideal and the 'rushy pond' is a good place for grass snake and newts as well as damselflies and dragonflies. We have also seen Adders on the more open heathland areas.

The woodland is ideal for spring flowers and autumn fungi and so, all in all, something for everyone!

There is a fair size car park (charges apply), an information display and a recently opened tea room. It can be busy, especially at weekends and during the holidays, due to the number of visitors to nearby Thomas Hardy's cottage but once you get away from the cottage into the wild it is much, much quieter and a very pleasant area.  

Thorncombe Wood and Duddle Heath

50.728175993558, -2.3860705582045
Dorset Council, Local Nature Reserve
5
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

19
E3

Fen and carr

16
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
E2

Flush and Spring

13
A2

Scrub

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
H6

Sand Dunes

10
E1

Bog

9
B2

Neutral Grassland

8
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

27
W09

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

25
W08

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

23
W07

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

15
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

11
M23

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

11
MG05

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

10
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

9
W22

Prunus spinosa - Rubus fruticosus [Blackthorn/Bramble] scrub

8
M25

Molinia caerulea - Potentilla erecta [Purple Moor Grass/Tormentil] mire

8
Site Notables
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
03-07-18

There is no information about this visit

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14-05-19

There is no information about this visit

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22-06-20

Sunny again but the strong breeze never seems to go away

  • Lots of sand wasps on the path but they were too active to have any chance of identifying them
  • Rushy pond (see photo) seems to have been cleared; no damselflies today as a result
  • Only four butterflies of three species seen - in mid-June
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The number of species recorded per species group: