This 114 hectare site adopts the high ground between the coast and the countryside with stunning views of both.

Blackdown is an ex Forestry Commission site owned and managed by Dorset Council's Ranger Team. There is great habitat variation across the site with acid grassland, mixed forestry and lowland heath. The ecological variation also comes from the different slope aspects. The warm southern facing slopes are home to various reptiles including the Common Lizard, with the wet north facing ones being home to many species of mosses and lichens.

Visitors are now able to park at our car park on the western approach and walk across the newly laid footpaths leading to Hardy Monument, the woodlands or up to the grassland which boasts some of the best views of the Jurassic Coast in the area.

The area is well connected to local rights of way including the South Dorset Ridgeway National Trail.

Nearest Town Dorchester (6 miles)
Look out for

Our resident Belted Galloway rare breed cattle as well as Bilberry, Sessile Oak, Roe Deer, Common Lizards, Stonechats, Buzzards, Willow Warblers and Long Tailed Tits

Habitats Acid grassland, remnant heath, mixed woodland and forestry plantation
Site designations

Site of Nature Conservation Interest, Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Scheduled Monument

Grid reference SY 611 876
Size 114 hectares
Parking On the site (restricted width of 2.2 metres)
Accessibility Public footpaths, public bridleways, circular walks, permissive footpaths
Other activities in area

South Dorset Ridgeway

Owner Dorset Council
Managed by Dorset Council (Area Greenspace Management Team - West)
How to get there Located 6 miles west of Dorchester. Follow the signs to Winterbourne St Martin (Martinstown) and travel west through the village, follow signs for Portesham/Hardy Monument. Cross a cattle grid and pass the monument on your left. After crossing the second cattle grid our car park is well signed and located on the right hand side.

Senior Countryside Ranger - West Dorset & Coast

Name: Russell Goff
Name: Russell Goff
Full contact details

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