Hengistbury Head Local Nature Reserve

A high prominantry that encloses Christchurch harbour; wonderful views and excellent wildlife.


Hengistbury Head: Hengists castle - If you are not familiar with the Bournemouth/Christchurch area finding Hengistbury can be a challenge. The traffic is often heavy in the area and visitor numbers to the site are high. It is a popular dog walking location and also a frequent destination for school parties on field projects. The beech is popular in summer. DO NOT LET ANY OF THIS PUT YOU OFF A VISIT! Hengistbury Head is a double winner, partly because of its proximity to Christchurch Harbour, it is an excellent wildlife spot and also because of the lovely view from both sides of the head, either across the harbour or along the south coast to Hurst Point in the east and to Durlston Point in the west.  Hengistbury is well known as a good site to watch bird migration in autumn and to see wildfowl and waders in winter. However, there is much more to the area than that with an abundance of wild flowers and associated insects. Get away from the main tarmac paths and your enjoyment will be increased. The site is an SSSI for many reasons but notably it is one of (or is?) the best sites in Dorset for Natterjack toads.  
Site Name Hengistbury Head Local Nature Reserve
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Diversity Average (100-150 species)
Map Reference SZ165911
Site Habitats
Habitat Relationship
C2: Soft Cliffs and scree


C3: Coastal Dunes


C7: Saltmarsh


F1: Lakes and reservoirs


H1: Dry Heath


W1: Broad-leaf Woodland