An area of heathland to the north of Christchurch, near Bournemouth International Airport.
Sopley Common comprises approximately 40 hectares of wet and dry heath, with woodland at the western edge running along the Avon Causeway and Matchams Lane. The reserve is located north of Christchurch and east of Hurn village. The site is mainly heath with areas of conifer plantations.
The northern edge of the site has the height restriction zone for incoming aircraft to Bournemouth International Airport. Landing lights are situated in the heath. Bounded by Matchams Lane, Avon Causeway and the A338, the east side is separated from forestry commission land by a forestry track.
The Dorset Wildlife Trust own and manage the land.
The site is a SSSI and national and European wildlife legislation applies.
Flora and Fauna
There are many pairs of Dartford Warbler and Stonechat. A Hobby possibly residing on Town Common or East Ramsdown is often seen hunting. Nightjars have been heard on the site and there are many Green woodpeckers, Jays and Magpies, especially in the woodland areas. In early summer Chiff Chaff are very vocal here.