The balancing pond; too deep for any wildlife to make use of
A pleasant walk between abandoned and overgrown gravel pits on one side and a golf course on the other.
Stokeford Heath: fore! -
Sadly, much of the original Stokeford Heath is now lost and is inaccessible. The extensive complex of mineral extraction pits have long since been abandoned which has left deep and dangerous ponds. Nature, though, has done a wonderful job recovering these pits and I am sure the deep undergrowth and ponds have lots of interesting species but you cannot get to see them!
The ponds are on one side of the footpath whilst the East Dorset Golf Club is on the other. Once prime heathland the area is now a well maintained amenity which retains some wildlife value but the original heathland species will mainly have all gone. Beyond the golf course you come to the scout and youth camp at Buddens Farm so there are restrictions on access here too and much of the area has been 'improved' for recreational use.
Carry on through the scout camp and you come to more abandoned ruins of earlier gravel extraction which has, again, been recolonised by nature.
All things considered it makes for an interesting walk with lots of plants to see although none a scarce or special. You do need to watch out for golfers and stray golf balls though!
|Site Name||Stokeford Heath|
|Diversity||High (150-200 species)|
A sunny but blustery afternoon so grateful for the protection of some trees: