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Upton Heath Nature Reserve

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Name of Location Upton Heath Nature Reserve
Map Reference SY989951
SatNav Coordinates 50° 44' 49.9308" N, 2° 1' 59.0592" W
  • Limited parking on site
  • Manned visitor centre
  • Toilets on site
  • Information display
  • Defined paths
  • Guided walks and events

A large expanse of heathland, both wet and dry, on the western edge of Poole which is now part of the Great Heath project


Upton Heath: the wild side of Poole

When you visit Upton Heath you can soon see why the westward expansion of Poole suddenly came to a halt! Upton Heath is wild, wet and very unsuitable for building on and so it was saved from destruction thank goodness. The proximity of housing, however, has taken its toll with many dogs being walked not under control and so there is a degree of dog mess to avoid when walking. It is also something of an adventure playground which leads to various problems including litter and muddy paths from bicycles and, of course, the perenial danger from heath fires that are started both accidentally and intentionally. This reserve is the site of the urban heaths project which teaches local people (especially children) about the heath, its importance and its care.

Please do not let any of this put you off a visit. It is a large site, bigger than I imagined, and is well cared for by the wardens. It provides an array of habitat with a very wet heath land bog in the centre with higher heather moorland around this and also areas of woodland and scrub. It is undulating terrain with many facets and the walking can be difficult in places. 

You can access the reserve from several points, each will give you a different view of the reserve. 


How to get there ...: 
From the A35 about three miles west of Poole town leave and take the Blandford Road (the A359). The turning to a lane leading to Beacon Hill and along there you will come to the Urban Heathland Centre run by the Dorset Wildlife Trust.
Ten Top Species Status Record Date
Heath Dog Violet Present 15/05/2012
Sand Lizard Recorded by others
Smooth Snake Recorded by others
Silver-studded Blue Recorded by others
Marsh Gentian Recorded by others
Raft Spider Recorded by others
Dartford Warbler Present 15/05/2012
Meadow Thistle Present 15/05/2012
Slow-worm Recorded by others
Adder Recorded by others
Habitat(s) Extent
HD: Dry heath Significant
HW: Wet heath Significant
Tag Type Tag
Access Access Difficult
Area Conurbation Area
Manager Dorset Wildlife Trust
Geology Poole Basin

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