Dorset Wildlife Trust, Brooklands Farm, Forston, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7AA
Tel No: 01305 264620
Opening and Closing Times:
Open at all times with parking by the roadside. Valuables should not be left in the vehicle.
A mixture of woodland, scrub and chalk downland Fontmell offers enough diversity to attract a whole range of wildlife especially on the flora and insect front.From the steep south facing slopes of the Curlews and Burys to the lower slopes of Littledown this fantastic reserve is a rolling walk of natural beauty. The footpaths are vague in places and not for the faint hearted but a full journey around this excellent area must be had to take in the species rich splendour of it all.
Best times to visit:
The summer months are a pure joy and are the times when this reserve really comes into its own.
The stunning views at Fontmell Down are matched by its wealthy array of wildlife.
In spring and early summer Chalk Milkwort, Lady’s Bedstraw, Bird’s-Foot Trefoil, Wild Thyme, Salad Burnet, Early Gentian and Clustered Bellflower are all delightful with the orchids Early Purple, Bee and Frog worth seeing. As summer progresses the flora just gets better with Small Scabious, Pyramidal Orchid, Harebell, Betony, Fairy Flax, Hedge Bedstraw and Knapweed Broomrape a few choice specimens that will be in full show.
The Catswhisker area on the steep northwest facing slope has a mixture of Whitebeam, Holly, Hazel, Purging Buckthorn, Sallow, Spindle, Ash and Beech to keep the tree enthusiast entertained.
Ideal for a scene-appreciating stroll or a wildflower hunt - Fontmell Down is as good as it looks.
Bird wise there is a minimal amount on offer with Blackbird, Chaffinch, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer, Skylark and Green Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, Raven, Kestrel and Buzzard likely to be seen and Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Garden Warbler a little more tricky. The insect life at Fontmell is spectacular with the lepidopterist kept especially busy with such fluttering wonders as Brown Argus, Marbled White, Dark Green Fritillary, Silver Washed Fritillary, Duke of Burgundy, Brimstone, Ringlet, Chalkhill Blue and the star of the show Silver Spotted Skipper.
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