Last updated 21/09/06


Bentley Wood


Bentley Wood is on the eastern side of Wiltshire, on the border with Hampshire. It is a premier site for Purple Emperors, and also has many other butterflies and dragonflies during the summer. These include Purple and White-letter Hairstreaks, White Admiral, Pearl-bordered and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, Marsh Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary and Grizzled Skipper.

The dragonflies to be seen include Emperor Dragonfly, Southern Hawker, Broad-bodied Chaser,Large Red and Azure Damselfly.

Plant life includes Broad-leaved Helleborine and a good range of other woodland plants.

Salisbury Plain



Salisbury Plain and Porton Down have remained largely unchanged since the 18th century, due to their use as a military training ground. This is the largest remaining area of unimproved calcareous grassland in northwest Europe, and measures roughly 25 miles by 10 miles.

The area has had little disturbance and has not been subjected to intensive farming methods, and is therefore invaluable for wildlife. The chalk downland is particularly important for flora and invertebrates. It has 13 species of nationally rare and scarce plants, such as Juniper, 67 species of rare and scarce invertebrates including Marsh Fritlillary, and is an important site for birds.

It is difficult thoroughly to explore such a large and sometimes inaccessible area. However, birds to be found here include Grasshopper Warbler, Quail, Stone-curlew, Skylark, Grey Partridge, Whinchat, Short-eared Owl (in winter), Hobby and Merlin. Rough-legged Buzzard sometimes occurs in winter.




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