Wyke Down and Ackling Dyke

Wyke Down is a remnant of chalk grassland and Ackling Dyke is the Roman Road from Badbury Rings to Old Sarum.

 

Site Name Wyke Down and Ackling Dyke
Protection
  • Open Access
Interest
2
County Dorset
More Information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ackling_Dyke
SSSI
Site Projects
Wyke Down and Ackling Dyke

Wyke Down and Ackling Dyke: roaming the Roman way -

I think I left my visit to this ancient site until a bit late in the season and so my species list certainly does not reflect its true value as a nature hotspot. It is, in any event, an important historical site with several tumuli on Wyke down and Ackling Dyke is a Roman road.

When arriving at the small car park along the minor road that runs from Sixpenny Handley to Wimborne St Giles Wyke Down lies to the north and is easily accessed though a gate in the corner of the car park. The land seems to be privately owned but there are permissive paths that cross it and one should respect that and keep to them. This is chalk grassland, obviously agriculturally 'improved' but still rich in flora and fauna. It is quite heavily grazed by sheep so watch your  step!

There are seven tumuli here which are ancient burial mounds of course, but I know little about that! In the south east corner of Wyke Down there is a gate providing access to the Roman road, Ackling Dyke. This is the road that ran from Badbury Rings to Old Sarum and the path can be followed for a considerable distance and you can go either north or south as the fancy takes you and you can walk as far as you feel you want to. I went north through a woodland setting and my species list reflects that. I had a really enjoyable visit and I must go back soon, perhaps in spring, to see what flora can be found along the dyke.  

Wyke Down and Ackling Dyke

50.932129032253, -1.9906116836328
Open Access
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
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

12
B3

Calcareous Grassland

11
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

11
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

10
B2

Neutral Grassland

9
B5

Marsh/marshy Grassland

8
A2

Scrub

7
J3

Built-up areas

6
H6

Sand Dunes

5
A1.2

Conifer Plantation

4
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

14
W09

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

11
W10

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

10
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

8
CG02

Festuca ovina - Helictotrichon pratense [Sheep's Fescue/Meadow Oat-grass] grassland

7
CG03

Bromopsis erecta [Upright Brome] grassland

7
CG06

Helictotrichon pubescens [Downy Oat-grass] grassland

7
CG07

Festuca ovina - Pilosella officinarum - Thymus polytrichum [Sheeps Fescue/Mouse-ear hawkweed/Wild Thyme] grassland

7
W22

Prunus spinosa - Rubus fruticosus [Blackthorn/Bramble] scrub

7
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

7
Site Diary
Project:
Diary Date Sort descending Notes Project Click for records and photos
19-08-14

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The number of species recorded per species group:
Title No of Species Recorded
Flowering Plants 61
Insects & other inverts 12
Birds 5
Fungi & Lichen 2