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The Nature Reserves and Wildlife Hot-spots of Dorset

Click the pic!

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.

My guide to the best places in Dorset to see its wildlife and natural beauty

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

Reserves Index

An alphebetical index to the 300 sites featured on the Nature of Dorset:

  • Discover the character of each site through reviews and photographs
  • See what species occur at each site with the species lists and gallery
  • Get directions to enable you to find the site you wish to visit


Reserves Map

A map showing the location of c300 wildlife sites in Dorset:

  • Find sites near to where you live or are staying in Dorset
  • Plan you day out if you intend to visit more than one site in a day
  • Click any pin to see the site name and to access the full site detail


Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Information about the Sites of Special Scientific Interest here in Dorset:

  • A complete alphabetical list of all SSSI locations from which you can access comprehensive information
  • A map of all the County's SSSI sites showing their location and giving you access to further information
  • Want to know more about SSSI in general? Use the link to the Natural England website


Dorset is a wonderfully diverse county and there are a substantial number of nature reserves here designated from National Nature Reserves down to Local Nature Reserves. These are obviously prime targets for nature enthusiasts to visit but there are a good number of other non-protected sites good for nature watching; 'hot-spots' if you like!

In the time I have lived here I have tried to visit as many of these lovely places as I can and I have compiled this directory of them giving for each a description, a photographic tour, a species list, details on how to find it (both by map, written directions and sat-nav co-ordinates,) other places to visit nearby and even a risk assessment especially for less mobile people who want to know what they are letting themselves in for if they visit. There is also information  about habitat types that can be found and links to any Site of Special Scientific designations that apply to the site.

My aim is try and help you choose the best places to go, to let you know what to expect when you get there and then how to find it. I hope you find it useful!