Hardington Moor National Nature Reserve



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Hardington Moor NNR near Yeovil is made up of three meadows on sloping ground of species-rich grassland,partly on calcareous clay-rich soils and bordered by established hedges. The meadows are home to more than 100 plant species, making the Hardington Moor reserve one of the finest remaining examples of neutral grassland in the whole of England. The nationally scarce French oat-grass is common throughout the reserve, and large numbers of green-winged orchid,corky-fruited water-dropwort and adder’s tongue fern can be found. Among the wealth of other orchids regularly recorded on the reserve are the common spotted, pyramidal, common twayblade, early purple, southern marsh, autumn lady’s tresses and greater butterfly. Butterflies seen on the site include the large skipper, green-veined white, green hairstreak, gatekeeper, common blue and small tortoiseshell. Habitat surveys have identified the presence of long-eared bats, nesting birds, slow worms,badgers and potentially dormice.

Hardington Moor National Nature Reserve
East Coker


About the area

Discover Somerset

Somerset means ‘summer pastures’ – appropriate given that so much of this county remains rural and unspoiled. Ever popular areas to visit are the limestone and red sandstone Mendip Hills rising to over 1,000 feet, and by complete contrast, to the south and southwest, the flat landscape of the Somerset Levels. Descend to the Somerset Levels, an evocative lowland landscape that was the setting for the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685. In the depths of winter this is a desolate place and famously prone to extensive flooding. There is also a palpable sense of the distant past among these fields and scattered communities. It is claimed that Alfred the Great retreated here after his defeat by the Danes.

Away from the flat country are the Quantocks, once the haunt of poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. The Quantocks are noted for their gentle slopes, heather-covered moorland expanses and red deer. From the summit, the Bristol Channel is visible where it meets the Severn Estuary. So much of this hilly landscape has a timeless quality about it and large areas have hardly changed since Coleridge and Wordsworth’s day.

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