You are here

Purbeck Ridge (Whiteways Hill and Flowers Barrow)

The Purbeck Ridge from Whiteways car park west to Flowerdown Iron Age Fort lies within the army ranges and therefore access is limited to when the range walks are open.


Purbeck Ridge (Whiteways Hill and Flowers Barrow): within range

Post date: Tuesday, 12 January, 2016 - 18:27

The walk along the Purbeck Ridge from the Whiteways Hill car park to Flowers Barrow hill fort (and beyond if you wish) lies within the MoD firing ranges for the nearby tank training school based in Bovington and Lulworth. This means that for much of the year it is closed to public access during the week apart from during army holidays which in general correspond to school holidays. It is such a shame that a walk with such lovely views is inaccessible most of the time.

On the plus side, however, the area escaped the agriculture 'improvement' that occurred on the top of the ridge during the war when food production become a priority. The Ministry of Defence commandeered the land before the Ministry of Agriculture could! This means you can see the Purbeck ridge much as it was before the war. Over much of the ranges, apart from tank tracks, the area is unaffected by sprays, fertilisers and farming activity.

I find the plant mix here fascinating! The ridge is undoubtedly chalk and a number of chalk species occur but the appearance is of scrubby heath and a number of plants associated with acid grassland are also present along with a number that prefer neutral soils. 

Not being an archaeologist I do not know much about the Flowers Barrow hill fort but it is certainly one of a chain that appear on high ground across the county. From Flowers Barrow you can see Woolsbarrow and Woodbury to the north, the next would be Badbury Rings but that is further away. It appears that some of the Flowers Barrow fort has fallen away due to cliff erosion but the walls are still well defined.


The information about this site has been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Fact File Visiting Aerial View Some Charts Some Photographs Species List Species Gallery Recent Records Guidance Notes