Higher Hyde Heath Reserve n Dorset, England - June 2011
There is something very relaxing and beautiful about walking on a southern heath land on a warm summer’s day. On this particular heath I saw Kestrel, Stonechat, Yellowhammer, Linnet and Roe Deer.
A heath or heathland is a dwarf-shrub habitat found on mainly low quality acidic soils, characterised by open, low growing woody vegetation, often dominated by plants of the Ericaceae. There is no clear difference between heath and moorland but moorland is generally related to high-ground heaths[ with — especially in Great Britain — a cooler and damper climate. Heaths are widespread worldwide.
An internationally important area of dry & wet lowland heathland & woodland. A bird hide overlooks a pond.
•The heather, ling & gorse provide shelter for resident stonechats & Dartford warblers.
•Emperor moths & silver-studded blue butterflies, as well as sand lizards & other reptiles.
•In summer migrant nightjars are found on the heath, with hobbies feeding over the peaty pools on the various damsel & dragonflies.
•Interesting plants include insectivorous sundews, pale butterwort & early marsh orchids.
Best time to visit:
•All year round interest.
•Late spring & summer for butterflies, dragonflies & migrant birds.
•Colourful in late summer when the heather flowers.
Several paths & a marked trail cross the heath. Disabled access to the bird hide & viewing area.
Map ref. SY 854899. Lies to the N.E. side of the Puddletown Road, between Bovington & Wareham. Small car park just W. of the approach road to the golf club, tucked away behind a group of single-storey industrial buildings at Hanson Yard.