VISITORS to Bothenhampton Nature Reserve, near Bridport, are invited to find out more about the history and wildlife of the site thanks to some brand new panels which have been installed.

The reserve includes a disused limestone quarry, lime kiln and the ridge of a hill overlooking West Bay. It is a mix of woodland, scrub and grassland, which makes it an interesting habitat for birds, mammals, invertebrates and plants.

Designed by Dorset’s Important Geological Sites Group, one of the panels gives the local history of quarrying and its importance in the history of the Parish.

The second panel, from Dorset County Council, tells the story about the flora and fauna that can be found on the site.

Both panels are at the northern end of the reserve, near the lime kiln.

Visitors can enjoy an abundance of wildflowers such as pyramid orchids, vetches and trefoils that thrive in the reserve, as do many insects, including spotted wood, meadow brown and comma butterflies.

A large numbers of birds also live in the woodland, starlings, rooks and nightingales can be seen, as well as buzzards and kestrels.

Mammals including stoats, and bats can also sometimes be spotted.

Oliver Harraway, countryside ranger at the county council, said: “Over the last few years, we have been working with volunteers from Bothenhampton and Walditch to improve the reserve, restoring the land and improving footpaths.

“The new panels will help give visitors a better insight into the history of this unique nature reserve, and make it even more enjoyable to visit.”