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To aid users of mobile devices as well as those with a mouse or laptop finger pad this site uses a simple image-based menu system. Virtually every picture you see (images and photos) are links to more information arranged in a sort of top-down structure. See an image, click or tap on it to open a new page.

The nature reserves and wild places of Dorset

All you need to know about the best places in Dorset to see wildlife:

  • Know the place you want to visit? Use the alphbetical index
  • Looking for options in a part of the county? Use the map
  • Want details of the county's SSSI? Use the SSSI section.



Access the RESERVES guide for details of over 250 nature reserves and wildlife 'hot-spots' in Dorset. For those I have visited there is a description, some visitor information, some photographs, a location map, a species list and a link to other sites nearby. Use the RESERVES guide if you: 

    • Want to find details of a particular nature reserve in Dorset
    • Want to find a nature reserve near you
    • Want to identify a species you have seen at a Dorset reserve

Access the SSSI guide for information about the Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Dorset, there are 139 of them. In addition to links to the Natural England database for detailed information you can also explore the additional information and photographs that I have been able to accumulate for some of them. Use the SSSI guide if you: 

    • Want to find out why a site has been designated as a SSSI
    • Want to find where the SSSI and its exact extent by looking at a detailed map
    • Want to find nature reserves and hot-spots within a SSSI that you can visit

Access the HABITATS guide for details of the primary habitat types you can encounter in Dorset; the features of each and the animals and plants associated with them. Use the HABITATS guide if you: 

    • Want to see what habitat types are commonly found in Dorset
    • Want to know which reserves and hotspots feature a particular habitat type
    • Want to know what species are typically found in a particular habitat type