Fontmell is part of a larger area called Fontmell & Melbury Down. Located south of Shaftesbury, Fontmell is an ancient chalk downland with views across the Blackmore Vale. Much of Britain’s chalk grassland has been lost, so the area is an important haven for rare species of orchid, many other rare flowers and wildlife.
Fontmell Down is a protected nature reserve with an area of 63 hectares. The entire area is open access and there are paths leading around the site, although the steep and uneven slopes mean some areas aren’t easily accessible. Cattle in summer and sheep in winter are used to graze the area. They are selective about the plants they eat, allowing the wildflowers to thrive without the competition of less desirable plants.
You can read more about Fontmell on the Dorset Wildlife Trust website.
Fontmell Downs by Becca