Dorset is amazingly rich in wildlife. Here, variety really is the spice of life. Dorset's underlying geology and landscape support a vast variety of living things. Many of the wildlife habitats are nationally or internationally rare, and are home to some of the world's most threatened plants and animals.
Click on the flags on the
wildlife mapto discover some of the best wildlife sites you can visit. Follow the links to find out about Dorset's different wildlife habitats and the species they support.
Below is an image of the map generated by Google's static map service
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Abbotsbury Swannery/Chesil Beach
Sanctuary for mute swans originally established by Benedictine monks in the fourteenth century, an ancient site sheltered by Chesil Beach.
Nature reserve with lowland heath. Salt marshes lead to Poole Harbour mudflats.
Ballard Down & Old Harry
Chalk headland with stacks and dramatic cliffs.
Ballard Down offers fantastic views of the Dorset heaths, Poole Harbour and Old Harry Rocks.
Mainly young woodland, good views, grassland. 8.43 ha (20.83 acres).
Broad leaved Woodland, High forest and Coppice with standards, herb rich neutral/acid grassland. (56 acres).
Nature reserve with wet heathland, dry heath and wet woodland.
Durlston Country Park
Superb area of coastal grassland and seacliffs, one of the best places in Britain for watching birds and wildlife.
Saline lagoon (The Fleet), shingle beach (Chesil) view of Portland Harbour.
Golden Cap is the highest point on the Jurassic Coast at 191 metres and gets its name from a distinctive yellow sandstone. ...
Chalk grassland and coppice woodland with a good range of flora and fauna.
National Nature Reserve within an impressive hillfort. Chalk grassland with areas of mixed scrub.
Lowland heath and mire, National Nature Reserve, extensively grazed by cattle and ponies. Adjoining farmland is being gradually restored to heath.
Chalk downland slope, 10 hectares (25 acres)
Extensive Iron Age hillfort with Roman Fort in one corner. Chalk downland.
Ancient broadleaf woodland on north side of Purbeck Ridge.
Lodmoor Nature Reserve
Predominantly a grassland and saltmarsh habitat, with small reed beds and scrub areas at either side.
National Nature Reserve. Steeply sloping neutral pasture, hedgerows, sunken lane, stream and small wetland area.
Lulworth Cove/Heritage Centre
Stunning Heritage Coast with cliffs and chalk download. Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door is internationally renowned for its coastal scenery, geology and geomorphology.
An attractive area of previously managed water meadows.
One of the largest natural harbours in the world, supporting 5% of UK's reed beds, grazing marshes, salt marshes and mud flats.
Ancient and semi-natural woodland, unimproved and restored pasture, mixed scrub and plantation woodland, ponds. Old brick kiln.
Large reedbed, open water, flood meadows and scrub attracting a good range of birds all year.
Reserve on Purbeck ridge with chalk downland, scrub and woodland. Good view of Poole Harbour.
National Nature Reserve of dune, heath, woodland and wetland fringed with miles of sandy beach, a section of which is for naturists. Bird hides overlook Little Sea.
Limestone grass reserve on a former quarried landscape.
Excellent example shingle beach on Chesil Bank, reedbed, wet meadow and scrub.