A hidden gem, on the outskirts of Blandford Forum. Ideal for picnics, exercise, wildlife or simply enjoying the splendid views.

Walks, views and more

Close to Blandford Forum’s thriving town centre, yet a haven of tranquility, the Milldown Nature Reserve is the perfect wildlife retreat on your doorstep!

Little ones and four legged friends alike will enjoy a stroll in the pretty meadow or exploring the woodland area for some forest bathing!  The paths are well kept, and there is a little play area here too.

Why not bring a picnic and sit a while soaking in the lovely views over the Blackmore Vale?

The Reserve is close to the North Dorset Trailway, so it could be combined to make a longer walk if desired.  Or cut onto the River Stour nearby and see if you can spot a Kingfisher or even an otter. It’s supposedly the best area in Britain to see them!

Alternatively have a go at the  orienteering course.  A fun way to discover the area.

A haven for wildlife

The rich variety of woodland, scrub, grassland and downland favours many invertebrates especially butterflies and moths. A wealth of other wildlife has been recorded including over 60 species of birds and 200 types of wildflower.

An area of unimproved chalk grassland, known as the Hangings, is particularly important here and the site has been designated a Site of Nature Conservation Interest by the Dorset Wildlife Trust

Orchids and wildflowers

Look out for ....

  • Beautiful deep purple Clustered Bellflowers and vibrant pink Pyramidal Orchids in late springtime
  • An array of butterflies such as the Dingy Skipper, Common Blue and Small Copper butterflies, dancing in the meadows on a summer’s day
  • Jays, famed for their loudmouths and love of acorns and the shy but striking Bullfinch in the woodland area.
Dorset Food and Drink fresh produce

Get a taste of the local landscape

Dorset Food & Drink celebrate and support the great tastes of our outstanding landscape and there’s lots to choose from in this area.

In Blandford Forum enjoy a delicious, home made, locally sourced lunch at the Yellow Bicycle Cafe.

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