Arne Nature Reserve

A premier RSPB reserve with a fascinating combination of habitat that includes classic heathland, tidal estuary, woodland and remnants of farmland.   

Site Name Arne Nature Reserve
  • RSPB
  • Site of Scientific Interest
County Dorset
More Information RSPB website
SSSI SSSI Information
Site Projects Purbeck Heaths
Arne Nature Reserve

Arne Nature Reserve: diversity beauty and tranquillity -

It took a while but in the end I was able to refine exactly why Arne is so special to me; its diversity, its beauty and its tranquillity. As a very amateur naturalist I appreciate the ecology of an environment; how the soil dictates the vegetation and how the vegetation dictates the insects that feed on it and the animals that predate the insects and so on up the food chain. Understand the environment and you start to understand its nature. The more variation you have in habitat so the greater the diversity of species. Arne may initially appear to be mainly heathland but it has much more to offer ranging from tidal mudflats and salt marsh, through dry heath and wet bog, acid woodland and conifer plantation, restored farmland and so the list goes on. Arne may be an RSPB reserve but it not just about birds, it is about giving nature a home!

The diversity of habitat also leads to a diversity of views, many of them are just beautiful. No rugged landscapes here but the colourful purple heath mingled with the blues of the sea and the greens of the trees and grasses. The sun sparkling on the waters of Middlebere creek with the menacing Corfe castle in the distance is one of my favourite pictures.

Finally, although loved by locals and visited by people from all over the country, Arne is a peaceful, tranquil place. No matter how busy the car park, once you are out walking you just occasionally meet people also enjoying a walk. As volunteer wardens we often stop to talk to them and they all seem to say the same thing; "isn't this a beautiful, peaceful place?". Its remote location helps, of course; no sound of busy roads here.

If you have never been to Arne but enjoy diversity, beauty and tranquillity get yourselves there as soon as you can!   

Arne Nature Reserve

50.69072711944, -2.0406019923135
RSPB, Site of Scientific Interest
This table indicates how many species of each of five interest levels there are on this site. 100% are highly interesting species whereas 20% are common species that are of no specific interest. Click/tap an intetest level to see the species for that interest level:
Species Interest Level No of Species
100% 5
80% 15
60% 70
40% 128
20% 227
The number of species recorded per species group:
This is the number of species recorded on this site grouped by the Phase 1 habitat classification they are often associated with. It gives an overview of the type of habitats that MAY occur on this site. Click/tap a classification to see greater detail of the composition of habitat types within this class:
Phase 1 Habitat Classification No of Species
B: Grassland 32
H: Coastal 32
E: Bog and Fen 28
A: Woodland 26
D: Heath 25
J: Brownfield 15
F: Water Margin 9
C: Upland Habitats 6
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes Project Click for records and photos

The woodland disabled car park is open again so we were able to take advantage of it today:…


A bit overcast and windy so the woodland at Arne seemed to offer shelter:

  • As I…

A bright but breezy day so we took our favoured woodland walk

  • Foxgloves at their…

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There is no information about this visit