Studland Heath National Nature Reserve

A long sandy beach, extensive sand dunes, dry heath, damp woodland and large inland lake; what more do you want? 

 

Site Name Studland Heath National Nature Reserve
Protection
  • National Trust
  • National Nature Reserve
  • Site of Scientific Interest
Interest
3
County Dorset
More Information
SSSI https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteDetail.aspx?SiteCode=S1003268…
Site Projects Exploring Environments 2022
Studland Heath National Nature Reserve

Studland Heath National Nature Reserve: the bare essentials -

Pretty inhospitable in winter but a delight in spring and summer, especially the brilliant yellow of the gorse in the spring and the lovely purple of the bell heather in late summer. Studland is a classic site of sand dune succession with various stages of the sand dune system clearly visible. My records for this site also include sightings from the off shore area in Studland and Shell bay which is a wintering haven for rare grebes and divers.

A walk along Studland Beech is a popular way of spending a Sunday afternoon although most people will miss the birds bobbing up and down on the waves not far out to sea. The heathland behind the beach is classic Dorset heath with all six British reptiles present as well as heathland specialist birds (Dartford warbler, nightjar, hobby, etc) and lots of insects and plants. A very large lake lies in the midst of this (called Little Sea) and in winter this a very popular feeding place for wildfowl and geese. There is a hide on the eastern shore. There is also some very pleasant damp woodland, something for everyone!

Studland gets very busy in summer because it has such a famous beach which is popular with bathers. As well as naturalists on the sandy dunes behind the beach you may encounter naturists too! Parking is free for National Trust members but there is a charge for non-members.  

Studland Heath National Nature Reserve

50.661429220615, -1.9524387793802
National Trust, National Nature Reserve, Site of Scientific Interest
3
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
H6

Sand Dunes

15
B3

Calcareous Grassland

14
F2

Water Margin & Inundation Vegetation

13
A2

Scrub

12
A1.3

Mixed Woodland

11
E3

Fen and carr

11
E1

Bog

9
F1

Swamp

9
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

16
W09

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

10
W07

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

9
H10

Calluna vulgaris - Erica cinerea [Ling/Bell Heather] heath

8
M15

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

8
W08

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

8
M23

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

7
W16

Quercus - Betula - Deschampsia flexuosa [Oak/Birch/Wavy Hair-grass] woodland

7
MG05

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

7
W04

Betula pubescens - Molinia caerulea [Downy Birch/Purple Moor Grass] woodland

6
The number of species recorded per species group: