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 butterfly 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 the south side
- There is car parking at Grid ref: SY695723 next to the reserve entrance
Sadly, reserve signs have been 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.
Most ticks are little more than an irritation, but a few can transmit Lyme disease, a rare and potentially serious illness which is treatable with antibiotics if diagnosed early. It is therefore important to be informed and take some simple precautions.
Nigel Spring (Dorset Branch) - tel: 01963 23559 or 07981 776 767 (mobile)