Higher Hyde Heath Nature Reserve

Once gravel pits, now a Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve and a top site for reptiles, insects and flowers.  

higher hyde

Higher Hyde Nature Reserve: snakes alive -

Higher Hyde Heath is one of the best places I know for reptiles, both snakes and lizards can be found there. It also features a large fresh water pond and a wet boggy lake which means its good for other wildlife too, especially insects. In spring and summer there are lots of damselflies and dragonflies around these two wet areas and neighbouring vegetation. Add to the animals an interesting flora list and you have one of the best nature reserves in Dorset.

Predominantly heathland habitat with acid woodland Higher Hyde is well worth visiting. The only downside is the noise from the nearby shooting club, the passing army tanks and personnel carriers from Bovington, the plane that tows gliders up in to the sky and the mineral extraction lorries! Despite that Higher Hyde is a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours mooching around.

There is a small car park but there are no other facilities but as you usually only see other wildlife enthusiasts that does not matter.  

Site Name Higher Hyde Heath Nature Reserve
Protection Dorset Wildlife Trust
Interest
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Diversity Very High (over 200 species)
Map Reference SY854889
County Dorset
SSSI
Website More information on the Dorset Wildlife Trust website
Site Habitats
Habitat Relationship
F1: Lakes and reservoirs

Partial

H1: Dry Heath

Partial

H3: Wet Heath

Minority

H4: Valley Mire and Bog

Partial

F2: Ponds

Partial

W4: Wet Woodland

Partial

Sites Photos

The top pond is looking quite low and becoming dominated by bulrushes

Photo Date
09-06-20

Hanson's have now completely pulled out leaving a larger area to explore

Photo Date
09-06-20

I think this is the first bee orchid I have seen at Higher Hyde

Photo Date
09-06-20

Lots of bracken and general over growth this time of year

Photo Date
09-06-20

The main path has changed so much over the years

Photo Date
09-06-20

I can't resist a pefect foxglove!

Photo Date
09-06-20

The bottom pond does not get much light so not much sign of life

Photo Date
09-06-20

Other than the ponds the main part of the reserve is mainly wet heath and bog

Photo Date
09-10-12
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes
09-06-20

Despite being quite windy a pleasant, warm afternoon:

  • No damsels or dragons and no reptiles either but there were two roe deer
  • Silver studded blue and meadow brown about and a Volucella bombylans
  • Lots of dog-roses and surprised to find a bee orchid and yellow-wort