Grassy hillside with lots of wild flowers in bloom

Cerne Giant Downland. Photo: Malcolm Wemyss

Managed for the welfare of a great variety of butterflies, with 35 species catalogued since formal recording began in 1994.

Although privately owned, butterfly walkers are free to roam northwards to Little Minterne Hill from the area of the Giant enclosure (part owned by the National Trust).

Regular cattle grazing is arranged by the land owner and Butterfly Conservation volunteers contribute scrub and tree clearance during the winter period.

For more info visit: Official Cerne Giant Hill website

Habitat and features

A very extensive region of sometimes steeply-sloped dominantly ancient chalk downland.

What to see


Find the best Dorset sites for individual butterflies on our Species profile pages.


Burnet Companion, Cinnabar, Five-spot Burnet, Six-spot Burnet, Forester, Mother Shipton, Oak Eggar, Orange Underwing, Ruby Tiger

Other species

Kestrel, Raven, Swallow, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Siskin. Flowers include: Bird's-foot Trefoil, Cowslip, Devil's-bit Scabious, Hairy Violet, Horseshoe Vetch, Kidney Vetch, Common Knapweed, Rock-rose and Betony.

Photo gallery

TIP: Click thumbnails to view full-size images.


Minterne Estates (Lord Digby)

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