Trailway (Stourpaine)

Track of the former Somerset & Dorset Railway now a long distance footpath and cycleway. This section runs from Stourpaine towards Shillingstone.

 

Site Name Trailway (Stourpaine)
Protection
  • Dorset Council
Interest
3
County Dorset
More Information
SSSI
Site Projects
Trailway (Stourpaine)

Stourpaine and the Trailway -

The track of the long-since abandoned Somerset and Dorset railway line has been renovated to provide a footpath and cycleway along the Stour Valley in North Dorset. Depending on your physical capabilities you can walk (or cycle of course) from Sturminster Newton to Blandford Forum, about ten miles. Partly because that is far too much for us these days and, in any event, to enjoy the nature you need to walk quite slowly, we tend to walk it in short stretches and one such stretch runs from the centre of Stourpaine north westwards and on towards Shillingstone,

We park in Stourpaine (usually at the White Horse where we book a table for lunch before setting off) and walk down through the village past the recreation ground and on to the trailway itself where the path leads through an avenue of beech trees. You then cross the river Stour with views along the river both ways before it opens up in to open farmland. There are pleasant views to Hod Hill and Hambledon Hill to the right. The path then leads on through a cutting and woodland until reaching the outskirts of Shillingstone which is where we tend to turn and walk back the way we came, it looks different going in the opposite direction!

It is a pleasant walk of around three miles but it is perhaps not a top wildlife location. Lunch at the White Horse in Stourpaine is a fine way to end ones expedition!

Trailway (Stourpaine)

50.888278083658, -2.2131494909187
Dorset Council
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
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
B3

Calcareous Grassland

11
A2

Scrub

10
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
B5

Marsh/marshy Grassland

8
H8

Maritime cliff and slope

7
J3

Built-up areas

6
A1.2

Conifer Plantation

5
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
W08

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

20
W09

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

16
W10

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

16
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

11
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

11
W07

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

9
W22

Prunus spinosa - Rubus fruticosus [Blackthorn/Bramble] scrub

7
W06

Alnus glutinosa - Urtica dioica [Alder/common nettle] woodland

6
W12

Fagus sylvatica - Mercurialis perennis [Beech/Dog's mercury] woodland

6
MG06

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

6
The number of species recorded per species group: