31 Small Blues on Weymouth Relief Road

Small Blue with wings open, shwoing the silvery blue sheen of this species
Small Blue. Photo: Richard Belding

The Small Blue is on the wing in excellent numbers on the Weymouth Relief Road, and we’ve got a guided walk there soon. While the Weymouth Relief Road doesn’t sound like a very promising place to find butterflies, this is a very special site. Created when the new road was built for the 2012 Olympics, the sides of the cutting were not covered with topsoil, but left as they were and seeded with limestone-friendly wild flowers, thanks to the input of Phil Sterling from Dorset County Council.

23 butterfly species are now found along this fairly easy walk, which goes down the hillside beside the road, under a bridge and back up the old road, which is now closed to traffic. If you fancy a look, we are running a guided walk there on 14 May – see our Events page for full information. The walk is repeated in August, when some different species will be on the wing.

Bank of bright yellow kidney vetch flowers

Kidney Vetch in flower along the walk on the path down to the relief road. Photo: John Elliott.

If you want to go and look by yourself, be warned that you cannot access the walk from the relief road itself. You need to approach from the east side, and the car park is at grid ref SY674859; the grid ref link is to one map, you can also look at the Weymouth Relief Road OS map. the road to reach the car park is quite long, but don’t lose heart – keep going and you will eventually run out of road and find a small car park. To start the walk, leave the car park heading towards the relief road and go through the gateway on your left.

 

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