Wyke Down and Ackling Dyke

Wyke Down is a remnant of chalk grassland and Ackling Dyke is the Roman Road from Badbury Rings to Old Sarum.

 

Wyke Down and Acking Dyke: roaming the Roman way - I think I left my visit to this ancient site until a bit late in the season and so my species list certainly does not reflect its true value as a nature hotspot. It is, in any event, an important historical site with several tumuli on Wyke down and Acking Dyke is a Roman road. When arriving at the small car park along the minor road that runs from Sixpenny Handley to Wimborne St Giles Wyke Down lies to the north and is easily accessed though a gate in the corner of the car park. The land seems to be privately owned but there are permissive paths that cross it and one should respect that and keep to them. This is chalk grassland, obviously agriculturally 'improved' but still rich in flora and fauna. It is quite heavily grazed by sheep so watch your  step! There are seven tumuli here which are ancient burial mounds of course, but I know little about that! In the south east corner of Wyke Down there is a gate providing access to the Roman road, Ackling Dyke. This is the road that ran from Badbury Rings to Old Sarum and the path can be followed for a considerable distance and you can go either north or south as the fancy takes you and you can walk as far as you feel you want to. I went north through a woodland setting and my species list reflects that. I had a really enjoyable visit and I must go back soon, perhaps in spring, to see what flora can be found along the dyke.  
Site Name Wyke Down and Ackling Dyke
Protection
Interest
0
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Diversity Low (50-100 species)
Map Reference SU006153
County
SSSI
Website
Site Habitats
Habitat Relationship
G1: Calcareous Grassland

Significant

W1: Broad-leaf Woodland

Partial