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Thorncombe Woods

Autumn Woods


Close to Dorchester, this 26 hectare mixed woodland and heath site is listed on the Ancient Woodland Inventory.

Thorncombe Wood has a great diversity of trees including mature oaks, Sweet Chestnut and beech. The woodland gives way to  Black Heath, an area of birch, bracken, heath and Rushy Pond, a small watering hole for many birds, mammals and damselflies and dragonflies. Running through the site is a well preserved Roman road. This Scheduled Ancient Monument, would have stretched from Dorchester to Badbury Rings.

There are a lots of paths to explore both the site and further afield using the local rights of way to Puddletown Forest and Dorchester.

The site is also adjacent to Hardy's Cottage, birthplace of novelist and poet Thomas Hardy. Black Heath is now a small fragment of the one famous Hardy's Egdon Heath and Rushy Pond is mentioned in 'The Withered Arm'.

Nearest TownDorchester
Look out for

Dormice, Common Lizards, Adders and Grass Snakes. Song Thrushes, Marsh Tits, Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, Dartford Warblers and Nightjars. Scare Hoverfly.

HabitatsWoodland, heath and a pond
Site designations

Site of Special Scientific Interest and Scheduled Ancient Monument

Nearest bus stopA35 nr Dorchester or Kingston Maurward College - information about bus services
Nearest train stationDorchester (Both) - information about train services
Grid referenceSY 725 921
Size26 hectares
ParkingOn the site
AccessibilityOpen Access area. No cycling or horse riding
Other activities in area

Hardy's Cottage (opens in a new window)

OwnerDorset County Council
Managed byDorset Countryside (Inland Team)

How to get there

Located 5 kilometres to the northwest of Dorchester.

There are local public footpath links from Dorchester.

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