Stoborough Heath National Nature Reserve

A national nature reserve covering a large area south-east of Wareham and is adjacent to Hartland Moor which makes for a large expanse of precious Dorset heath. 



Stoborough Heath National Nature Reserve: standing proud - Along the south western shore of Poole Harbour there are three major nature reserves that stretch for four miles from Stoborough (near Wareham) to Arne Point. Together with the small reserve of Slepe Heath these make a contiguous area of protected heath covering ten square miles or so. Being an internationally important habitat it is good to know that such a large area is protected and managed for future generations. Two of the three reserves, the RSPB reserve at Arne and the National Nature Reserve at Hartland Moor are well known and it seems that Stoborough Heath is the forgotten cousin! Stoborough Heath, though, is a National Nature Reserve in its own right and can stand proudly as a key part of this triumvirate. It species list is very impressive and it contains a series of sub-habitats that adds variety to the underlying heath and acid grassland terrain. Once farmed (Sunnyside Farm still exists) the area has no crops nowadays and has been returned to its natural habitat although areas of acid grassland still remain from the era of heavy grazing by livestock.   One of the main features for the visitor is the track of the long since abandoned tramway that used to take horse-drawn loads of clay down to the shore of Poole Harbour for loading on to boats. This track, now bordered on both sides by hedgerow, provides easy walking through the centre of the reserve from where the surrounding bog and myre can be safely surveyed.   

Site Name Stoborough Heath National Nature Reserve
Protection National Nature Reserve, Site of Scientific Interest
No votes yet
Diversity Very High (over 200 species)
Map Reference SY938862
Site Habitats
Site Diary
Diary Date Notes

Another bright and breezy afternoon so off to Stoborough Heath:

  • We walked the higher area of dry heath/acid grassland mosaic
  • Lots of gatekeepers but no other significant insects
  • Surprised at how compact rush is so frequent here rather than soft rush

There is no information for this visit


There is no information for this visit


There is no information for this visit