Corfe Barrows Nature Park

A diverse selection of separate and varied habitats brought together under one banner.

 
 

Corfe Barrows Nature Park: Two and two make five! - There are times when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that seems to be true of Corfe Barrows Nature Park. It is a collection of fragments of land that were unsuitable for development or agriculture and so survived the expansion of Poole that have now been acquired under the Great Heaths project and brought together into a single nature reserve or 'park'. The core of the new park is Barrow Hill, an area of heathland to the north of Poole that has been designated as a nature reserve for some time now. The nearby disused railway track that runs towards Broadstone forms the backbone of the park and then other pockets of land at Happy Bottom, Rushcombe Bottom, Ashington Meadows and Cogden Elms form the flesh. A further established heathland nature reserve at Corfe Hills, not quite connected as the other parts, completes the package along with an inaccessible boggy area at Diprose Bottom. I started my first visit by parking near Happy Bottom and following the trail through the wet wooded valley to the railway cutting before turning south along the railway cutting This is wooded on both sides and damp in places but board walks make it completely accessible. After a while you come to rough pasture at Ashington Meadows and from here I turned back and took the path westwards to the dry heath of Barrow Hill and the wet heath of Rushcome Bottom. Turning north the track then goes through Cogden Elms, a wooded area, back to the starting point. It took a little over an hour and the route took me through a variety of habitats with plenty to interest the casual naturalist. There are various identified routes through this collection of sites of varying degrees of accessibility and details can be found on the Dorset Wildlife Trust website here.
Site Name Corfe Barrows Nature Park
Protection Local Nature Reserve, Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
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Diversity Low (50-100 species)
Map Reference SY 995979
County
SSSI
Website
Site Habitats
Habitat Relationship
B6: Redundant Railway

Partial

F5: Ditches and streams

Minority

F6: Fen and carr

Minority

G2: Neutral Grassland

Minority

H1: Dry Heath

Significant

H3: Wet Heath

Partial

W1: Broad-leaf Woodland

Partial

W4: Wet Woodland

Minority

W5: Conifer Plantation

Minority