TYPE OF HABITAT
Dry heath, scrub, mire, damp grassland and ponds, surrounded by willow carm and woodland covering 8.1ha.
OS map ref SW 780 5 l4
On the A30, 2.5km (1.5 miles) south-west of Zelah, take the turning for Ventongimps. After 2.5km (1.5 miles), turn left at a T-junction and then first left. Access to the reserve is from a footpath 500m up the road.
Twenty acres of exceptionally rich wet heath, bog and damp woodland, owned by the Trust. The area was neglected for many years. Gorse invaded, but has now been cleared and pools have been created to form new habitats. The largest and deepest pond on the reserve was created by the excavation of a bomber which crashed in the 1939-45 war and was removed in 1970. The slow-flowing stream forms the eastern boundary of the reserve, and open heath gives way to broadleaved woodland on the northern fringe.
SPECIES OF PARTICULAR INTEREST
This site is dominated in parts by purple moor grass and in others by the rare Dorset heath. Among the mats of sphagnum sundew and pale butterwort can be seen, both insectivorous plants. The flowers of yellow flag and bog asphodel make eye-catching displays of yellow in spring and summer respectively, the former growing in drainage ditches. Several different orchids occur on the reserve. Also present are black bog rush and aromatics bog myrtle. Along the stream margins north of the reserve is an area of willow carr with excellent lichens, mosses and patches of royal fern.
Many butterflies and dragonflies, including the blue tailed damselfly and four spotted chaser, are found by the stream and ponds. Breeding birds include grasshopper and willow warbler, marsh, blue and great tit, buzzard, chiff chaff and tree pipit. The latter have been attracted this far West by the deliberate opening up of the heath.
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