Area: 13.1 hectares.
Reasons for Notification:
A small remnant of heathland on the acidic Bagshot Sands, lying between the larger heathland blocks of Hartland Moor and Godlingston Heath. In the past, the site has been worked for clay and parts provide interesting examples of recolonisation by heathland plants and animals.
In damp and wet heathland, mainly in the north west, the very local Dorset Heath Erica ciliaris is abundant together with cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix and purple moor- grass Molinia caerulea. On the higher centre of the site, there is dry heathland with ling Calluna vulgaris and bell heather Erica cinerea. Gorse Ulex europaeus and pines Pinus sylvestris and P. nigra have invaded some of this heathland, and locally form dense stands.
The area of old clay workings possesses a variety of habitats including dry heath on the banks and wet heath and bog in the lower lying areas. The bogs support several species of Sphagnum moss including the local S. pulchrum, bogbean Meneanthes trifoliata, cotton grass Eriophorum angustifolium and bog asphodel Narthecium ossifragum. The pools complete the transition from dry heath and support aquatic plants typical of acidic waters including bulbous rush Juncus bulbosus and pondweeds Potamogeton spp. They hold several species of dragonfly in abundance.
The mature dry heathland with areas of bare ground on the slopes of the old workings is particularly attractive to the rare reptiles, sand lizard Lacerta agilis and smooth snake Coronella austriaca, which are present in good numbers.