If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

27 May, 2013

Site Review: Ballard Down

Many people visit Ballard Down each year. It forms the eastern end of the Purbeck Ridge and is well known because Old Harry Rocks stand in the sea off the very end of the down. A challenging climb from some directions but the reward is stunning views away to the Isle of Wight in the east and over Poole harbour and on to the north Dorset hills to the west. To the south you can see over Swanage Bay and Durlston Point and way out to sea.

Although the top of the down provides the best views, the south facing escarpment slope provides the best natural interest with an abundance of flowers and a prime site for butterflies. Indeed, two of the rarest British butterflies, the Adonis blue and the Lulworth skipper can be found here in good numbers along with many other species including the declining wall brown.

My preferred route is to take the road from Studland to Swanage and to park in the lay-by on the left; right by the Swanage town sign. From the end of the lay-by you can go through a gate and take the path that runs up the slope. Not only is this one of the easiest routes to the top it takes you past the best wildlife.

See more photographs and my species list here:
www.natureofdorset.co.uk/sites/ballard-down