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Locations and Access

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  • Durlston Country Park

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    Site Details: 
    Name of Location Durlston Country Park
    Highlights Butterflies, Chalk grassland flora, Fungi in autumn, Migrating Birds, Orchids, Views
    • Ample parking on site
    • Charge for parking
    • Manned visitor centre
    • Cafe on site
    • Toilets on site
    • Picnic area
    • Seats around the site
    • Information leaflet available
    • Signed routes and trails
    • Well made paths
    • Mobility vehicle available
    • Guided walks and events
    • Dogs on leads only
    OS Map Reference SZ033773
    Top Species
    Access Points: 

    WARNING: I have not been able to test all of these co-ordinates, they are based on where I placed the markers so use with care!

    Name SatNav Coordinates
    Car park and visitor centre 50° 35' 43.1844" N, 1° 57' 17.1036" W

    Once you get to Swanage Durlston Country Park is signposted.

    Location Map: 

    The blue pin mark the approximate centre of the reserve, the yellow pin(s) mark the approximate locations of parking places that enable you to access the reserve.

    Potential Hazards: 

    Any walk in the countryside is going to have its potential hazards but the primary aim of this function is to forewarn less able people of difficulties they may face although some may apply to other people as well.

    Hazard Commentsort descending Description
    Mud It can be muddy around the fields, especially in winter

    If you encounter mud on a reserve without the right footwear then you can have problems. Mud can occur anywhere, of course, after heavy rain but some reserves on clay or heavy soils can be muddy for much of the time. Activities such as mountain biking and horse riding can also churn up paths and make them almost impassable. 

    Cliff Edges Leave the cliff edges to the well equipped climbers!

    Coastal reserves may often have steep cliffs down to the sea. Keep children under close control in such places and adults should not venture too near the edge either. The Coastguard service is excellent but don't depend on them to get you out of trouble. It is amazing how many rescues are carried out each year along the Dorset coast. 

    Livestock Some delightful Hereford cows are used to graze the fields and downs

    Grazing by cows, sheep or horses is an essential part of the management plan on many reserves. The livestock themselves are not a hazard but their dung can be unpleasant and very slippery if you are unfortunate enough to step in it! Soft ground on reserves where cows are grazed can become very pitted, uneven and muddy. Some people, of course, are very nervous about being close to livestock. It is essential that dogs are kept on leads near livestock (but then should always be on leads on nature reserves) and it is also essential that gates are closed after you.

    Steep Slopes There are some steep slopes and climbs in places

    Escarpments and downland are often left unfarmed and so have a diversity of plant life and become designated as nature reserves to protect those species that are present. Steep slopes in such environments can be a struggle to climb and the risk of falling will always be present and special care is needed. 

    Nearby Sites: 

    These are sites near to the one you selected. Distances given are VERY approximate! Click any photograph to go to the full details of that site.

    • Approximate Distance: 2 miles

      Once a quarry but now a Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve on the southern hills overlooking Swanage Bay.


    • Approximate Distance: 3 miles

      A delightful wooded valley to the west of Swanage


    • Approximate Distance: 3 miles

      An easily accessible part of the Purbeck Ridge with lots of flowers and insects to see in summer. 


    • Approximate Distance: 3 miles

      Visited by many for the walk to Old Harry Rocks but the south facing escarpment slope provides an abundance of flowers and is a prime site for butterflies. 


    • Approximate Distance: 4 Miles

      An abandoned Purbeck stone quarry right on the edge of the cliffs with amazing views of the Purbeck coastline along with interesting flora and fauna..