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Home Page Guide

  • The aim of this page is to:

    • Provide a starting from from which it should be possible to find any species or site featured on the Nature of Dorset even if you do not know its name

    These aims are achieved by:

    • Providing the starting points for three possible pathways that lead to information about a specific species or a Dorset nature reserve or wildlife 'hot-spot' 

    This section can be used for:

    • Starting the process of identifying a species a structured 'top down' approach to species identification
    • Or for using an alternative 'query' based approach to species identification
    • Or for finding species information by common or scientific name using an alphabetic index
    • Starting the process of finding a nature reserve or other site in a geographical area using a map
    • Or finding reserves for a desired managing organisation, an protection designation or even by habitat type
    • Or finding the information of a specific site using an alphabetical index
    • Starting the process of building reports, charts, maps and gallery to suite your own requirements
    • To download the results of your built reports to your own computer for further work at home
    • much more!

    From this home page you can: 

    Access the SPECIES section for:

    • my 'top down' identification tool, start by selecting the general group of species and work downwards
    • my 'filter' identification tools where you can select key attributes such as colour, habitat, time of year and so on to produce a suggested list of species matching those attributes
    • an alphabetic index of all the species in the Nature of Dorset database with search facilities for quick access to the species of your choice.

    Access the SITES section for:

    • details of over 200 nature reserves and wildlife 'hot-spots' in Dorset. For each that 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.
    • details of the Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Dorset, there are 139 of them
    • details of the primary habitat types you can encounter in Dorset; the features of each and the animals and plants associated with them.

    Access the RECORDS section for:

    • building your own reports from the Nature of Dorset database
    • downloading the data from your built report to your own computer
    • building your own charts, distribution maps and galleries fromm the Nature of Database

    Click/tap your selection to move to the next level down:

    • Species

      Help with finding species or identifying something seen:

      • Looking for a particular species? Use the alphabetical index
      • Interested in a particular group of species? Use the hierarchical structure
      • Need help with identification? Try the identification aids


    • Places

      Inspiration for places to visit or information for visiting a particular site:

      • 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.


    • Records

      Access the full Nature of Dorset records database where you can:

      • Build your own reports, distribution maps and charts of species (or groups of species) seen, where they have been seen and when
      • Build your own gallery of photographs from species records
      • Download data from the database to your own computer for further work


    • News Desk

      The Nature of Dorset newsdesk with the latest reports of what species have been seen in Dorset recently:

      • Yesterday's records in lists, maps and charts
      • A list of species seen over the last seven days
      • The most reported species over the last month
    • Resources

      Access a range of other resources on the wider Nature of Dorset:

      • A library of articles and papers about nature in Dorset
      • A range of useful resources and information 
      • Get involved and learn more about wildlife and natural history 
    • Community

      Join the wider Nature of Dorset community on the social Internet:

      • Use the forum to ask questions, make comments and start discussions 
      • Follow the Nature of Dorset on Twitter
      • Join the Nature of Dorset Facebook group or 'like' our page
    • Guidance

      Need help or want to know more about the Nature of Dorset? Visit the guidance section for:

      • The terms and conditions of use
      • A 'visitors' guide for background information about the Nature of Dorset
      • A 'users' guide with some help on how to use some of the features of the Nature of Dorset
    • Mobile

      Switch to the SUMMARY version of the Nature of Dorset:

      • Designed with mobile phones and tablets in mind
      • Focus on applications for use in the field rather than the office
      • Touch screen sensitive, optimised displays and performance enhancements