The road through Southover and the continuing track was once the road from Dorchester to Maiden Newton and a drover's track before that dating back to before medieval times. You will come to a gate and beyond that the track rises onto the first river terrace. When you reach that level you will see that there is another steep rise and that is an older river terrace. Just round the bend ahead there is a double gate and, on your right, the DWT notice board telling you all about the reserve and the Roman 'villa'. You can park at the village hall, walk through the Millenium Green, note the 19th century bridge and the 18th century chalk and flint houses in Southover. If you take this walk on a Sunday in August, on your return, partake of a village cream tea. From the village hall to the Reserve is about a mile, with a good surface and the occasional gentle slope.
at the end of the road through Southover there are two gates and signposted walks
The gate to the left (south to Notton Barn) leads through and up a pleasant valley explored on another page (shortly). Straight on is the path to Notton and which eventually leads to Maiden Newton
DWT reserve and the Notton Roman 'Villa'
on your left is the edge of the flood plain of the River Frome and a slope topped by an ancient river terrace left high and dry as the river cut down into its bed over thousands and possibly millions of years
on your right is a private nature reserve, a very watery one so do not wander off the path
Dorchester Frampton Maiden Newton
chalk and flint cottages
between Frampton and Southover
A gate at the end of this section marks a rise onto the first terrace. As you round the bend you can see further terraces rising above you. Again they are reminders of geological events including sea level changes
A double gate leads on to Notton Farm and to the right is the noticeboard for the DWT. The field the notice board is in is part of what was a small brickworks. Notice the level platforms on the left where the bricks were stacked to dry. In the field beyond there is some rough ground which marks where the Notton Roman 'Villa' pavement was found some 200 years ago. Sadly it was covered up at the time and it is unlikely that anything worth while will have survived the ravages of farming and river
Information, photographs and web page DS