Dark Green Fritillary

Dark Green Fritillary - Les Binns

An area of limestone grassland and heath with bracken encroachment high up on the Mendip Hills. In spring and summer there is a fantastic display of wildflowers, with the varying soil types found across the site supporting different species.

Location

Bubwith Acres,
Off Cliff Road
Cheddar
Somerset

OS Map Reference

ST 474 538
A static map of Bubwith Acres

Know before you go

Size
19 hectares

Parking information

No formal car park. Best to park in Cheddar and then proceed on foot along Lippiatt Lane to the footpath starting at ST 463 536 and then to the reserve entrance at ST 472 537.

Grazing animals

The reserve is managed by light summer grazing with cattle and sheep.

Access

Contact the Trust for more information.

Dogs

On a lead
Visit the 'Dog walking on reserves' page in the Contact section for more information.

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to August

About the reserve

This site consists of a range of habitat types, including unimproved acid grassland, limestone outcrops, unimproved mesotrophic grassland, bracken, scrub and areas of relic heath.

In spring and summer there is a fantastic display of wildflowers, with the varying soils found across the site supporting different species. Pignut, Common Knapweed and Harebell grow on the neutral to acidic grassland areas. Also look out for the pale pink flowers of Lousewort, an unusual hemi-parasitic plant that obtains some of its  nutrients by tapping into the roots of other plants. Where rock outcrops break the surface you’ll find limestone grassland, with Small Scabious and Salad Burnet growing amongst fragrant carpets of Wild Thyme.

Where the soils are more acidic a heathy flora has developed with Tormentil, Heath Bedstraw, Harebell, Thyme-leaved Milkwort, Silvery Hair-Grass and occasional low-growing specimens of Heather. On rocky outcrops look out for the ferns Maidenhair Spleenwort, Wall-Rue and Rustyback Fern.

Peregrine can occasionally be seen flying overhead, and they nest in nearby Cheddar Gorge. Ravens, the largest member of the corvids, are common visitors to the reserve. Their distinctive croaking call will alert you to their presence.

The dry stone walls and rock outcrops of the reserve are excellent places to see basking reptiles during spring and summer as they use the heat of the sun to warm their bodies. Butterflies such as the Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper can be seen during spring, whilst the Dark Green Fritillary can often be seen flying powerfully over the grassland in high summer.

Reserve conservation management - The reserve is managed by light summer grazing with cattle and sheep. Some mechanical cutting to control bracken and ranker vegetation also takes place. Winter clearance of scrub protects the fragile calcareous grassland habitat from encroaching hawthorn and other small trees.

Bubwith Acres is also close to Cheddar Gorge.

Contact us

Somerset Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01823 652400

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)