Sharford Bridge

A walk across National Trust land which passes through four very different habitats; heath, woodland, damp meadow and arable field.  

Sharford bridge

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
Protection National Trust
Interest
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Diversity Very High (over 200 species)
Map Reference SY962848
County Dorset
SSSI
Website
Site Habitats
Habitat Relationship
B1: Arable farmland

Significant

F5: Ditches and streams

Partial

H2: Dry Heath/Acid Grassland Mosaic

Minority

W2: Acid Woodland

Partial

Sites Photos

With no rain for weeks everywhere is parched

Photo Date
08-06-20

Just a short but lovely bit of a woodland walk

Photo Date
08-06-20

This a small but impressive area of classic oak/birch woodland habitat

Photo Date
08-06-20

Being damp near the river the meadow is still full of flowers

Photo Date
08-06-20

Large areas of conifer plantation have been removed to allow heath to natural restore

Photo Date
08-06-20

The meadow by the river is part of the Corfe Meadows SSSI (a separate site featured on this website)

Photo Date
08-06-15

This is Sharford Bridge!

Photo Date
12-10-12

The higher fields have a varied collection of weeds of cultivation and are still grazed by cattle

Photo Date
12-10-12

Once you have crossed the heath you go through this gate in to the woodland and that leads sown to the bridge and stream

Photo Date
12-10-12
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes
08-06-20

A bright and breezy afternoon but pleasant enough; cooling breeze was welcome at times.

  • With no rain for weeks everywhere is parched and there are not many flowers to be seen
  • The damp meadow by the river is still a picture though with oxeye daisy, meadow buttercup and red clover
  • A few meadow brown about but not much else plus a displaying tree pipit