Site Review: Stephens Castle, Verwood, Dorset

In my travels around the nature reserves and special places of Dorset I find some real gems. They take me by surprise as I set out with low expectations sometimes and I find something totally unexpected when I arrive. Stephens Castle was certainly one of those surprises and is a true gem.

It covers a larger area than I had anticipated and is a strange combinantion of high ground that is predominantly sandy and lower ground that is water logged and boggy. Heath land it may be but there is something a little different about Stephens Castle that I find it hard to define. Sadly, on the day I visited it was not really ideal for dragonflies and damselfies but I suspect later in the season they abound given the acid pools and myre.

Full credit to the East Dorset District Council that have provided a good quality accessible path around the reserve but there are also plenty of opportunties to wander off this main path and explore the marshy areas, the sandy stretches and to wander in and out of the scrub. I am sure my species list really does not do justice to this lovely reserve.

Whilst visiting Verwood for Stephens Castle why not take a look at nearby Bugdens Copse and/or Dewlands Common?

Click here to see more photographs and a species list:

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