Lydlinch Common consists of a mosaic of herb-rich grassland, scrub and woodland with a rich assemblage of butterflies, moths and flowering plants and is notified as a Site of Special Scientifc Interest (SSSI).
The Blackmoor Vale was once characterised by this habitat, but agricultural improvement has resulted in considerable loss of this declining resource and in the Vale it is now largely confined to the Lydlinch area. The site lies on the Oxford Clays and can be very wet for most of the year.
If this butterfly, and other fauna, are to flourish here, the common must be kept from developing into scrub and then woodland, so volunteers of the Dorset Branch of Butterfly Conservation have spent years undertaking scrub clearance. The owners have now received funding and guidance from Natural England to undertake this task on a larger scale. Following approved fencing of the Common, the site is now seasonally lightly grazed by cattle, supported by continuing light scrub clearance by volunteers between September and March - if you would like to join us in this work, see the Events page for information.
Over 300 species of macro moth have been recorded here as have flowers such as Devil's-bit Scabious.
Habitat and features
A mosaic of herb-rich grassland, scrub and woodland.
What to see
Find the best Dorset sites for individual butterflies on our Species
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Lydlinch Common. Photo: Colin Burningham
Lydlinch entrance. Photo: Colin Burningham