Size : 14 Ha

Ownership: Malmesbury Estate

Designation: SSSI,SAC,SPA, Ramsar

Restrictions: Open Access Land, please keep dogs on a lead and keep to main paths. Horse riding and cycling are only permitted on statutory
bridleways. No camping or fires of any kind.

Access: Through Ramsdown Forest (Forestry Commission) Christchurch BH23 6AE

A secluded area of heathland, offering good opportunities to visit to see some rare flora and fauna.

The Reserve

East Ramsdown would have originally been a continuous part of Town Common but in
1956 the A338 was built and separated the two reserves.

Evidence of minerals extraction exist on the site with a small quarry not far from the entrance, this would have had to do with the nearby residence of Brick Field Cottage which is off the private Brick Kiln Lane.

What to see 

East Ramsdown comprises of a mix of habitats. A steep dry heath dominated south facing hill looks out towards its neighbour reserve of Town Common making this an ideal area for sand lizards. The dry heath grades down to a mixture of dry and humid heath, the perfect habitat for common lizards and smooth snakes. The habitat continues to grade into wet heath and acid bog surrounding a large acidic pond located near the centre of the reserve.

The pond is home to a varied mix of dragonfly species and a great place to see acid bog
loving plants such as sundew. The wealth of dragonfly species the pond holds also attracts feeding hobbies on a regular basis in the summer months.

As the reserve continues east the habitat becomes mainly humid heath with the odd dry ridge, this is an ideal mix of habitats for adders, smooth snakes, grass snakes, and common lizards. With much less public traffic than the neighbouring Town Common.

Other species of interest that can be spotted are the Dartford warbler and nightjar.