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Hartland Moor National Nature Reserve

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An extensive area of wet heathland in the heart of Purbeck with some very interesting species


Hartland Moor: the moor the merrier

Post date: Sunday, 14 September, 2014 - 00:00

If Hartland Moor sounds a bleak place you would be right! Although called a moor I am sure those from up north might think it a bit of cheap imitation but Hartland Moor is probably more accurately described as classic Dorset wet heathland, a unique habitat in its own right. It is an extensive area of dry and wet heath with higher ground surrounding a Y-shaped bog system which drains in to the nearby Middlebere Channel, part of Poole Harbour. 

Hartland Moor can be bleak on a cold or miserable day in mid-winter but in the late summer and autumn it has a wonderful purple colouring because of the amount of bell heather.

Hartland is home to all six species of British native reptiles and as well as specialist heathland birds, insects and flowers. It has many notable species of plants and insects, some nationally scare such as the Dorset heath, marsh gentian and bog orchid. Rare heath and large marsh grasshoppers are present too, as well as bog cricket. We should not forget Dartford warbler and nightjar with hen harriers being frequent visitors in winter.

It has national nature reserve status and rightly so.


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Fact File Directions Aerial View Some Charts Some Photographs Species List Species Gallery Original Tweets Guidance Notes