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Castle Hill, Shaftesbury

A site rich in wildlife, lovely views and links with the history of Shaftesbury.

Castle Hill is an important site for wildlife within easy walking distance of Shaftesbury town centre. A variety of habitats including grassy slopes, wetland areas and well developed woodland. Over 130 types of plant occur here and 40 bird species have been recorded. A range of dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies can also be seen.

The north facing slopes look out across Dorset to the Somerset and Wiltshire border, with views of King Alfred's Tower and the long wooded line of Penselwood Ridge. On a clear day Glastonbury Tor is visible in the west. Castle Hill was once part of Shaftesbury Abbey and gets its name from a Saxon fort that is a Scheduled Ancient Monument present on the site.

Nearest TownShaftesbury
Look out for

Betony, Devils-bit Scabious wildflowers and Blackcap birds

HabitatsGrassland, woodland, scrub, wetland and a pond
Site designations

Site of Nature Conservation Interest and Scheduled Ancient Monument

Nearest bus stopBimport, Breach Lane, Tout Hill - information about bus services
Nearest train stationGillingham (5 miles) - information about train services

Grid reference

ST 855 227
Size4.86 hectares
ParkingRoadside parking available along Bimport
AccessibilityStepped paths not suitable for wheelchair users
OwnerNorth Dorset District Council
Managed byDorset County Council (Area Greenspace Management Team - West)

How to get there

Most easily approached from Castle Hill Gardens, behind the ambulance station on Bimport (B3091) or, from the bottom of the site, through the gates off  Breach Lane, Shaftesbury.

  1. Castle Hill, Shaftesbury
  1. Castle Hill, Shaftesbury
  2. Castle Hill, Shaftesbury


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