surrounding Hardy's Monument
A Site of Special scientific interest. Back in geological time a river system deposited gravels onto the underlying chalk and plant communities have developed which reflect the more acidic soils.
Sand and gravel used to be quarried from the heath and the old pits are still to be seen. The more conical depressions are called "swallow holes" which are formed when acidic water dissolves away the chalk rock beneath the surface layer of gravels.
Blackdown lies on the South Dorset Ridgeway, a chlak ridge stretching for 12 miles. It provided a natural pathway for early man and today the ridgeway is still dotted with the remainrs of the many "barrows" or burial mounds built during the Bronze Age (2000-600BC).
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