Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve

A delightful heathland area with other habitat types to add variety. 


Sandford Heath: a comfortable heath - Sandford Heath is a favourite local site of mine! There is a lot of heath in Purbeck but somehow the character of Sandford Heath is a little different and I put it down to the large heathland areas being somewhat cold and unforgiving whereas this site is warm and comfortable ... well I know what I mean. There is plenty to see in a range of sub-habitats with dry heath and bog with a wonderful heathland pool which swarms with damselflies and dragonflies on a nice summers day. There is a stream with rich green vegetation and scrubby areas too. Having been planted with conifers at one stage extensive management is underway to remove the plantation trees and restore the area to heathland. The results of this work will take time to come through but the signs are already there that the effort will be worthwhile.  Despite being close to a busy road, an industrial estate and extensive housing it is a peaceful place and I rarely see anyone else there, just an occasional dog walker and, in school holidays, a couple of the local kids exploring.  
Site Name Sandford Heath National Nature Reserve
Protection National Nature Reserve, Site of Scientific Interest
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Diversity High (150-200 species)
Map Reference SY940905
Site Habitats
Habitat Relationship
F5: Ditches and streams


H1: Dry Heath


H3: Wet Heath


W5: Conifer Plantation


Site Diary
Diary Date Notes

Bright and breezy again; time for a return visit to Sandford Heath:

  • Found a new site for bee-wolf; they do seem to be getting established here on the sry heaths now
  • The pond was surprisingly quiet with no dragonflies or damselflies although there was a golden-ringed dragonfly nearby
  • The first time I have seen a common lizard here although they must surely be numerous