Coombe Heath is an excellent example of acid Dorset heathland, both dry and wet. There are extensive areas of bog which contain many interesting species of both plants and insects. The bog is pretty inaccessible though and should be treated with extreme care - not only for ones own safety but, more importantly, for the safety of the site itself!
It is a quite remote place approached from a woodland path at Highwood where there is a small but ample car park. The heath itself is surrounded by forestry plantation and agricultural land. Its eastern border adjoins the MoD army training area so be prepared for sudden gunfire and military activity nearby! In addition the plantation areas there are some mature broadleaf trees around the perimiter as well as areas of scrub. A good mix of habitat giving a good mix of species.
In summer this a very good site for butterflies, dragonflies/damselflies and grasshoppers and, of course, its main interest, bog species. I have recorded both heath and mottled grasshoppers here which are nationally scarce species.
A review of this site was written by John Wright for the Dorset Wildlife Trust Magazine - you can read it here.