Top 10 things to see and do at Win Green

Our ranger has pulled together his top 10 things to see and do at Win Green, including exploring the beech clump, following the ox drove and butterfly spotting.

Breathtaking views across Wiltshire from Win Green

Enjoy the 360 degree views from the top

This is the highest point in Cranborne Chase, 911 feet above sea level. Close to the beech clump, a topograph reveals highlights of the surrounding countryside, from the nearby hilltop town of Shaftesbury to the Needles, more than 30 miles away on the Isle of Wight.

Listen for birdsong

See if you can hear the quintessential English sound of Skylarks, particularly during spring and summer, as they ascend and hover over Win Green and the surrounding area. Other birds to look out for include the Corn bunting, Meadow pipit, Raven and Red kite.

The Oxdrove at Win Green

Explore the Ox Drove

It is one of the longest and most ancient routes in the country, linking Axminster in Devon with Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire, and is linked to the Wessex Ridgeway. Formed by drovers moving cattle long distance. It may also have been the route used to transport Portland stone to build Salisbury Cathedral.

Interesting Waxcap funghi found at Win Green

Search for Wax Caps

Find wax cap mushrooms in late summer/autumn - these 'orchids' of the fungus world fruit in the autumn as bright red and yellow mushrooms scattered among the grass.

Pack a picnic

Make it as simple or extravagant as you like, and spread a blanket out to sit and enjoy the views at leisure. Past picnickers likely included some of the Bright Young Things of the roaring 1920s - leading socialite of the time Cecil Beaton had his estate close by.

View of the barrow atop Win Green

Explore the beech clump

Whether artistically in its reminiscence of John Nash's painting 'Trees on a Hill' or playfully as a great spot for a game of hide and seek, the beeches are a real highlight.

Fly a kite

There is plenty of space and usually a fine breeze blowing; ideal kite-flying conditions.

Search for chalk downland wildflowers

You can find Common spotted orchid, Bee orchid and Yellow rattle among many other species. Yellow rattle is crucial to this rare habitat – it is semi-parasitic on grass and so prevents the grasses from dominating and smothering wild flowers and herbs.

Go butterfly spotting

Search for butterflies in summer, including the Marbled white, Dark green fritillary, Adonis blue, Chalkhill blue and Green hairstreak. The blue butterflies have remarkably close relationships with the downland ants - as caterpillars they sing to the ants and live underground in anthills. These anthills are visible as small bumps on the older patches of downland.

Find a good spot

Close your eyes, breathe, and let your mind wander.