This disused limestone quarry has been turned into a stunning nature reserve thanks to careful management of the naturally developing vegetation. It is a great example of how 'post-industrial' land can be of great value for nature conservation.
The stony, calcareous soil supports a herb-rich flora with local plants such as bee and pyramidal orchids, yellow vetchling, autumn gentian and ivy broomrape. Sparse vegetation conditions are ideal for such plants as well as the key butterflies and other insects. The scrub provides shelter and habitat for birds but readily invades the open areas.
Site management aims to provide more open grassland and short sward conditions. Innovative surface-scraping has been successfully employed to re-recreate the special conditions needed by the Silver-studded Blue and the Black Ants that it is associated with.
Area: 7.3 hectares (18 acres)
Grid reference SY 697 720 Ordnance Survey map 194
Take the main road (A354) to Portland, and follow the signs to Easton. Turn left onto Grove Road just upon entering Easton. The reserve entrance is down the quarry track (beware of lorries) about 1/4 km along the Grove, on south side. There is car parking at SY695723 nest ot the reserve entrance.
Unfortunately reserve signs are sadly removed by vandals, and broken gates and fencing will be encountered.
There is a frequent bus service from Weymouth to Easton Square. It is a short walk to Grove Road.
Nigel Spring - tel: 01963 23559 or 07981 776 767 (mobile)