An interesting mix of damp pasture, scrub and woodland renowned for its butterfly species.
Lydlinch Common: a surprise package
Sunday, 13 July, 2014
My first visit to Lydlinch Common started with a bit of a surprise. The land I was stood on was obviously higher than much of the surrounding area and so I would have expected it to be dry with water draining to the lower levels nearby but I was seeing species like meadowsweet, hemlock water-dropwort, corky-fruited water-dropwort and marsh thistle, all species I would associate with damp meadows. As I progressed all become clear, I soon started to encounter occasional areas of exposed, sodden clay despite the fact we have had little rain for several weeks. Clay soils, of course, hold water as it cannot permeate through.
The common is part of the local estate but is declared open access and the owners are quite happy with this allowing Dorset Butterfly Conservation to undertake work to maintain the site for the marsh fritillary that loves this damp, rough pasture. As a result the site is well worth visiting. Like other Dorset Butterfly Conservation reserves there is nothing laid on for the visitor, they are managed for wildlife not people and I commend them for that. Maybe some of our best reserves are more country parks than true places for nature and where dog walking and children's games are encouraged? No, Lydlinch Common is delightfully wild. At my age now I found the going difficult but it is a truly wild place and I loved it.
Sadly, I have now visited all the Butterfly Conservation reserves so there are no more delightful surprises in store for me. That will not diminish my desire to see them again though.
The information about this site has been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: