Corfe Castle Common

An extensive area of undisturbed grassland south of Corfe Castle with an outstanding display of flowers.


Corfe Castle Common: unique not common - Corfe Castle Common is a large area of common land lying to the south and east of the village. Being common land it has been extensively grazed for countless years and the ground has never been ploughed and so It has remarkable flora including a impressive display of heath spotted orchids in Jun each year. The floral diversity is enhaced by variable habitats from a dry ridge to damp and boggy vallies, a couple of ponds and gentle grassy slopes. Any visit from April to September will yield wonderful displays of flora, the like that is rarely seen these days. A further point of interest is that the common is bounded to the south by the limestone of the Purbeck cliffs and to the north by the chalk of the Purbeck ridge and so one would expect the land in between to be predominantly alkaline but there is a complete absence of chalk grassland species, most of the flowers are those you would associate with heathland or acid soils. Of course, the presence of so many flowers means there are numerous insects and that, in turn means some birds that feed on insects are present although the absence of a number of trees and shrubs means that this is not an avian hotspot.  
Site Name Corfe Castle Common
Protection National Trust, Site of Scientific Interest
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Diversity Very High (over 200 species)
Map Reference SY958815
Site Habitats
Habitat Relationship
F5: Ditches and streams


H2: Dry Heath/Acid Grassland Mosaic