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Canford Magna Town Common
Grid Reference SZ 14098 96790
Dunyeats Hill


Town Common is a large area of heath straddling the old Ringwood to Christchurch railway. As well as being a prime site for all six of our native reptile species, its many shallow peaty pools provide the perfect habitat for Black Darters, Emerald Damselflies and Small Red Damselflies while the paths and track usually host hunting or roosting hawkers in the bushes.

Earlier in the season the pools are alive with Broad-bodied and Four-spotted Chasers holding their own against patrolling Emperors. This of course is provided you have good weather! Choose a warm, sunny day with little or no wind for the best experience, as the open aspect cools sufficiently under grey clouds or in a strong wind. The whole site can suffer from flooding after an excess of rainfall, the summer of 2012 being particularly bad.

Another bonus is the relative quietness, with only the main track hosting the odd dog-walker or cyclist. The smaller paths may see the odd horse rider, but even they are restricted during reptile season. Park at the lay-by here and follow the track south.

Key Species
Southern Hawker Brown Hawker Common Hawker Migrant Hawker Emperor
Golden-ringed Dragonfly Black Darter Common Darters Broad-bodied Chaser Scarce Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser Small Red Common Blue Large Red Common Emerald
Canford Magna Index Dunyeats Hill
All Content   Paul Ritchie 2010