It took a while but in the end I was able to refine exactly why Arne is so special to me; its diversity, its beauty and its tranquillity.
As a very amateur naturalist I appreciate the ecology of an environment; how the soil dictates the vegetation and how the vegetation dictates the insects that feed on it and the animals that predate the insects and so on up the food chain. Understand the environment and you start to understand its nature. The more variation you have in habitat so the greater the diversity of species. Arne may initially appear to be mainly heathland but it has much more to offer ranging from tidal mudflats and salt marsh, through dry heath and wet bog, broad leaf woodland and conifer plantation, restored farmland and so the list goes on. Arne may be an RSPB reserve but it not just about birds, it is about giving nature a home!
The diversity of habitat also leads to a diversity of views, many of them are just beautiful. No rugged landscapes here but the colourful purple heath mingled with the blues of the sea and the greens of the trees and grasses. The sun sparkling on the waters of Middlebere creek with the menacing Corfe castle in the distance is one of my favourite pictures.
Finally, although loved by locals and visited by people from all over the country Arne is a peaceful, tranquil place. No matter how busy the car park, once you are out walking you just occasionally meet people also enjoying a walk. As volunteer wardens we often stop to talk to them and they all seem to say the same thing; "isn't this a beautiful, peaceful place?". Its remote location helps, of course; no sound of busy roads here.
If you have never been to Arne but enjoy diversity, beauty and tranquillity get yourselves there as soon as you can!