Declared in 2020, the Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve brings together smaller Nature Reserves along with the surrounding landscape to make a bigger, better and more joined up area in Purbeck for wildlife and their habitats to thrive and for visitors to discover and enjoy.
The Purbeck Heaths spans over three thousand hectares across Purbeck including Studland, Corfe Castle, Arne, Church Knowle, and Steeple with Tyneham.
The land is owned by seven different landowners; The National Trust, RSPB, Rempstone Estate, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC), Forestry England and Natural England and is located within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The landscape of Purbeck Heaths landscape is a complex mixture of habitats including the UK’s largest and best quality low lying wet and dry heathland. There are also valley mires (swampy, boggy grounds), acid grasslands, coastal sand dunes and saltmarsh. Plus important areas of lowland deciduous woodland and wet woodland. Purbeck Heath also includes hundreds of hectares of mainly conifer plantations that are under restoration to heathland.
The Purbeck Heaths are home to tens of thousands of species including many that are rare and threatened. It is one of the very few landscapes in the UK that is home to all 6 native reptiles, a number of iconic heathland birds, raptors, wildfowl, rare native plants, bat species and is last UK strongholds of some important heathland insects and butterflies.
Discover more about Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve at the following locations…
The Blue Pool: A beautiful 25 acre nature reserve of heath woodland, surrounding a stunning pool.
Purbeck Park: A ‘must visit’ location for the Purbeck Heaths, located near Corfe and the Steam Railway.
RSPB Arne: Stunning reserve, which recently features in BBC’s Springwatch. Famous for its wide open heathlands, ancient oak woodland and reedbeds.