Pribdean Wood - Handley Common - Dean Lane - Pribdean Wood

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Pribdean Wood - Chase Wood - Handley Common - Dean Lane - Pribdean Wood

The walk starts and ends at an RSPB reserve (Garston Wood, if you are looking it up on their website). You may want to have a look round the reserve either before or after your walk. In spring there are primroses, wood anemones and bluebells. The reserve provides a habitat for typical woodland species including turtledove, marsh tit, bullfinch, blackcap and garden warbler. A number of butterfly species can also be seen, including white admirals.

The initial section of our route is along the 'Shire Rack', an undulating low ridge which marks the boundary between Dorset and Wiltshire and takes us through Chase Wood. The sunny rides of this lovely extensive area of woodland provide good butterfly habitats. I met a butterfly enthusiast there who was patrolling a section of footpath searching for a 'Purple Emperor oak', having heard there was one somewhere in the wood.

From Chase Wood our route descends to the south and traverses farmland in the direction of Sixpenny Handley, before turning to the east to return to the start point via the hamlet of Deanland. Look out for hares (I've had at least one sighting whenever I've visited this area)and partridges in the fields.

The walk is dog-friendly: no stiles and the route across farmland is on hedged and fenced lanes with no contact with livestock.

England - South West England - Dorset - Cranborne Chase


Birds, Butterflies, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Wildlife, Woodland

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