A pleasant riverside walk along the banks of the River Stour (no dogs!)


Shapwick: down by the riverside - If, like me, you enjoy a quiet walk by a river in the middle of summer then you can do little better than take a stroll along the Stour Valley Way, east from Shapwick church. The Stour is a slow moving, meandering river rich in opportunities for wildlife to flourish. The meadows along the riverside are a bit boring but the river itself and the bordering vegetation is packed with flowers and insects which, in turn, attract birds. If you have a dog then this walk is not for you as dogs are not allowed because there are always cattle grazing in the meadows. I guess, if you are uncomfortable with cows then this walk is best avoided too but actually the cows are, of course, harmless albeit inquisitve! This is by far the best place I have found to see the rather special Roesels bush-cricket, a recent coloniser of Dorset. With the aid of my bat detector I was able to hear numberous males stridulating but finding them in the long grass is a real challenge. In summer this is also a good spot for the brown hawker which is not that common in Dorset.  
Site Name Shapwick
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Diversity Low (50-100 species)
Map Reference ST937016
Site Habitats
Habitat Relationship
F4: Slow moving rivers