CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today CLICK HERE

National Trust’s coastal campaign celebrates land acquired at Hardy Monument

PUBLISHED: 10:54 18 May 2015 | UPDATED: 10:54 18 May 2015

Hardy Monument © National Trust

Hardy Monument © National Trust


Celebrating 50 years of its coastal fundraising campaign, the National Trust has made its first coastal acquisition in the South West this year. It will now care for almost 23 acres of Black Down heathland below the Hardy Monument in Dorset – an area of great natural and historical importance.

Helen Mann; Heathland below Hardy Monument © National TrustHelen Mann; Heathland below Hardy Monument © National Trust

The Portland stone ‘spyglass’ monument stands on the highest point of Black Down, 241 metres above sea level, with uninterrupted views out over the English Channel. This is on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and the acidic pebbly soils that cap it are home to rare heathland plants and animals.

The Hardy Monument was built in 1844 in memory of Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Flag Captain of HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Hardy famously held Nelson in his arms as he died saying the immortal words ‘Kiss me Hardy’. The Trust has been caring for the monument since 1938 but this year, through a bequest and support from the Patsy Wood Trust, it has greatly extended that land to encompass the car park and surrounding heathland.

Helen Mann, National Trust General Manager for West and North Dorset, said: “This acquisition of heathland south of Hardy Monument not only marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trust Coast Campaign, but also creates another vital link in our on-going campaign to protect and share the South West coastline for ever, for everyone.

“We want to see a coast rich in wildlife and culture, with space for everyone to enjoy it. We now care for 300 miles of the south west coastline – one in every three miles – and we need your continued support to raise £1 million each year to realise this vital work.”

The strange, slightly ‘moonscape’ nature of the heathland, is due to large swallow or shake holes – distinctive craters created by acidic rain dissolving the underlying chalk. These are a real feature of the area, and have created microclimates with their own unique vegetation.

Simon Ford, South West Wildlife and Countryside Advisor for the National Trust, said: “This wonderful heathland is swathed in heather, gorse and bilberry, and in summer is alive with butterflies – from holly blue and small copper to small heath and meadow brown. And the birdlife is equally enchanting – with stonechats, linnets and hovering kestrels, and at night the rattling call of the nightjar.

“With careful management and by working in partnership we can protect the coastline, making it increasingly joined up and better for both wildlife and people.”

The Trust is working in partnership with Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Natural England and Dorset County Council to manage the land at Hardy Monument, in conjunction with the South Dorset Ridgeway Partnership. The Patsy Wood Trust gifted £50,000 to help the Trust acquire and manage the site into the future.



Far From the Madding Crowd - on set in Sherborne - Sherborne turns Victorian for the filming of David Nicholls’ adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd and Boris Starling was on set to see it happen

Far From The Madding Crowd review - Boris Starling - Far From The Madding Crowd is well worth going to see says Boris Starling...


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

From your first step, you will see superb views from hilltops and farmland footpaths on this walk

Read more
Sunday, November 11, 2018

Martin Clunes and his family have called West Dorset home for over two decades. Here he shares some of their favourite local places

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

To mark the centenary of the end of World War One we visit some of the memorials erected across Dorset to remember the fallen in the ‘war to end all wars’

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

This lovely walk takes us from watercress beds to a church famous for its life-size carvings of apostles

Read more
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Autumn is a great time to brush up on your gardening knowledge with the help of some experts, as well as see some well known gardens in a different light

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The guide to Dorset’s best firework displays and bonfire events happening in 2018

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Prepare to experience the paranormal this Hallowe’en as Visit Dorset reveals some of the county’s most haunted pubs, stately homes, historic buildings and tanks

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

From festive light switch-ons and Santa’s Grottos, to German Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Dorset this season

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

Dorset villages are some of the most beautiful in England – think winding lanes, thatched cottages and a cosy pub or welcoming tea room. We suggest ten of the prettiest villages to visit in the county

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

Follow in the footsteps of the Romans on this lovely walk that takes in rare habitat, ancient woodland and glorious views

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

This challenging coastal walk rewards your efforts with spectacular views along the Jurassic Coast

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Marine photographer Steve Belasco shares some very special wildlife moments

Read more
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

TravelSupermarket has uncovered the top 25 most popular UK beaches on Instagram after analysing hashtags used for over 1,100 beaches and Bournemouth comes out on top

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ride + Stride, Dorset Historic Churches Trust’s annual fundraising event, is a great way to explore and support some of the county’s more unusual places of worship

Read more
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search