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
Protection
  • RSPB
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
5
County Dorset
More Information RSPB website
SSSI SSSI Information
Site Projects
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
5
These are the habitat types that MAY be present on the site based on the species recorded there (top 10 only shown):
Phase 1 Habitat Types Description No of Species
D1

Dwarf Shrub Heath

20
A1.1

Broad-leaf Woodland

15
E3

Fen and carr

15
H6

Sand Dunes

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
A2

Scrub

12
E2

Flush and Spring

12
J1

Cultivated/disturbed land

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
E1

Bog

10
These are the number of species for NVC codes on the site - it DOES NOT mean that the NVC community is actually present on the site: it might be! (Top 10 only shown):
NVC Community Description No of Species
W10

Quercus robur - Pteridium aquilinum - Rubus fruticosus [Pedunculate Oak/Bracken/Bramble] woodland

26
W09

Fraxinus excelsior - Sorbus aucuparia - Mercurialis perennis [Ash/Rowan/Dog's Mercury] woodland

25
W08

Fraxinus excelsior - Acer campestre - Mercurialis perennis [Ash/Field Maple/Dog's Mercury] woodland

24
MG05

Cynosurus cristatus - Centaurea nigra [Crested Dogs-tail/Black knapweed] grassland

22
W07

Alnus - Fraxinus - Lysimachia nemorum [Alder/Ash/Yellow Pimpernel] woodland

20
MG01

Arrhenatherum elatius [False Oat-grass] grassland

19
W21

Crataegus monogyna - Hedera helix [Hawthorn/Ivy] scrub

15
M23

Juncus effusus - Galium palustre [Soft Rush/Marsh Bedstraw] rush pasture

14
M15

Trichophorum germanicum - Erica tetralix [Deer-grass/Cross-leaved heath] wet heath

13
W22

Prunus spinosa - Rubus fruticosus [Blackthorn/Bramble] scrub

12
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes Project Click for records and photos
05-08-20

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

  • I have never seen the water level in the 'dragonfly' ponds so low
  • Very few insects about again despite plenty of flowers
  • Found a new cluster of Dorset heath by the ponds
view
02-07-20

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

  • As I have recorded most of Arne that I am likely to see just concentrated on 'specials' today
  • First marbled white I have ever seen at Arne though
  • The birch woodland, downy birch, never ceases to amaze
view
04-06-20

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

  • Foxgloves at their best now and worth the visit on their own!
  • Four-spotted chaser laying eggs in one of the ponds
  • Song thrush feeding young

Otherwise very quiet for both wildlife and visitors

view
03-06-19

There is no information about this visit

view
18-10-18

There is no information about this visit

view
The number of species recorded per species group: