Brownsea Island

An island in Poole Harbour cut off from 'civilisation' and is a delight to visit with its speciality, the red squirrel, one of the highlights.


Site Name Brownsea Island
  • Dorset Wildlife Trust
  • National Trust
  • National Nature Reserve
  • Site of Scientific Interest
County Dorset
More Information
Site Projects Purbeck Heaths
Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island: yes, an island set in a brown sea -

Brownsea Island is a favourite place of mine; I just wish I could get there more often. It is lovely to be remote from the daily hustle and bustle, in a place where where you are is more important than what you are.  I was sat on the ferry waiting to cross to the island yesterday and it occurred to me for the first time, Brownsea Island, the island in the brown sea, and sure enough, despite the blue sky the water did look brown rather than blue! I had never thought of that before. It does not take long to figure out why this is of course. Poole harbour is very shallow and even at high tide the water is not very deep and so the dark brown mud influences the colour you see, after all, water is colourless. Also at high tide large areas of eel grass and spartina grass become submerged in water making for a brown effect on the water swamping it. So yes, Brownsea Island is an island set in a brown sea, it is aptly named.  

Brownsea Island

50.693500075565, -1.9598887379264
Dorset Wildlife Trust, National Trust, National Nature Reserve, 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% 1
80% 6
60% 31
40% 62
20% 129
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 30
H: Coastal 27
A: Woodland 25
D: Heath 24
E: Bog and Fen 23
F: Water Margin 13
J: Brownfield 13
C: Upland Habitats 5
I: Rock Exposure 2
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes Project Click for records and photos