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Middlesex/London Area


The Dutton-Dunwich Prairie

The West Elgin Nature Club in partnership with the Elgin Stewardship Council leased 2 miles of abandoned railroad right-of-way from CSX rail system. This 24-acre tract is found in the township of Dutton-Dunwich and is bisected by the Coyne Road. The area is rich in provincially rare and endangered prairie plants such as the compass plant, gray headed coneflower, ohio goldenrod, blazing star, and pale purple coneflower. The more abundant grasses included such species big bluestem, indian and cord grass.

The site had been neglected for some years and a great deal of woody vegetation had grown into the prairie. A prescribed burn was performed on the property in 2000 with future burns planned for the next 3 years.

How to Locate the Prairie:

  • Exit Hwy 401 at interchange #149 (Currie road-Dutton)
  • Go south to the first road - Pioneer Line
  • Turn right (go west) on Pioneer Line to the Coyne road.
  • Turn left (go south) on the Coyne road to the railroad tracks.
  • Look for signage on the left along the abandoned right-of-way.

The Aldborough Memorial Forest Reserve
The West Elgin Nature Preserve

In 1983. the Aldborough Township council appointed the W.E.N.C. to manage a closed landfill site. This area became known as the Aldborough Memorial forest. The 32 acre forest is located in the Carolinian zone. Such Cottonwood and Hackberry are found growing in the preserve in some abundance. Early spring flowers such as red and white trilliums and marsh marigolds cover the forest floor in early May. The maidenhair and rattlesnake ferns emerge shortly after the spring flowers finish blooming. Summer and autumn see such plants as turtlehead, tall bellflower and closed gentian start to flower.

A system of paths throughout the forest was upgraded in year 2000 to make it more accessible for hiking and birding. Future plans for the preserve will included and area to plant more memorial trees and varied prairie plants.

How to locate the Forest Reserve

  • Exit Hwy #401 at interchange 137 (West Lorne, Graham Road)
  • Go north to first road - Downie Line
  • Turn left on Downie Line and go to Number 24514.

West Elgin Nature Club
P.O.Box 7
West Lorne ON
N0L 2P0