With no rain for weeks everywhere is parched
A walk across National Trust land which passes through four very different habitats; heath, woodland, damp meadow and arable field.
Our walk to Sharford Bridge and beyond starts from the road across Hartland Moor half way between Scotland Farm and the track down to Middlebere Farm. There are places here where it is possible to safely park off of the roadir! here. The path follows a signed cycle route known as the Purbeck Way and you will often encounter cyclists along the path but that is not usually a problem.
Having parked if you came by car you first cross some open acid heath grassland and descend to a gateway into a delightful small piece of acid woodland featuring oak.birch trees and various woodland flowers. Emerging from the wood via another gate there is an expanse of damp meadow to your right; this is Corfe Meadows SSSI which I talk about separately on this website.
Sharford bridge itself is not a grand affair; a wooden bridge with stone walls and a wooden gate each end. It crosses the Corfe river and this another good spot for flora and damselflies in summer.
Heading on there are two large seemingly uninteresting fields to cross but look closely and you will find various weeds of cultivation that one does not see very often in these days of herbicidal treatments in pasture meadows. Once across these field and through another gate the path continues on across heathland towards Remptone forest or as far as you want to go. Not long ago this area was covered in forestry plantation but the conifers have gone now and the heath is being restored.
Once you have gone far enough turn round and head back!
|Site Name||Sharford Bridge|
|Diversity||Very High (over 200 species)|
Large areas of conifer plantation have been removed to allow heath to natural restore
The meadow by the river is part of the Corfe Meadows SSSI (a separate site featured on this website)
A bright and breezy afternoon but pleasant enough; cooling breeze was welcome at times.