You are here

Sites Page Guide

Click the pic!

To aid users of mobile devices as well as those with a mouse or laptop finger pad this site uses a simple image-based menu system. Virtually every picture you see (images and photos) are links to more information arranged in a sort of top-down structure. See an image, click or tap on it to open a new page.

  • The aim of this section is to:

    • Provide a starting point for finding information about nature reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and habitat types that can be found in Dorset

    These aims are achieved by:

    • Providing information on over 200 nature reserves and other wildlife 'hot-spots' in Dorset
    • Providing information about the designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest that can be found in Dorset
    • Providing information about common habitat types that can be found in Dorset

    This section can be used for:

    • Getting directional information to a large number of nature reserves and other interesting places in Dorset
    • Establishing whether there are there are facilities for less able people at these sites and whether any particular hazards make access difficult
    • Seeing what species might be seen on a visit to the site
    • Identifying species seen whilst visiting the site
    • Understanding why certain locations have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest
    • Increasing awareness of the range of habitat types to be found in Dorset and what their main characteristics and resident species are


    From this home page you can: 

    Access the RESERVES guide for details of over 250 nature reserves and wildlife 'hot-spots' in Dorset. For those I have visited there is a description, some visitor information, some photographs, a location map, a species list and a link to other sites nearby. Use the RESERVES guide if you: 

      • Want to find details of a particular nature reserve in Dorset
      • Want to find a nature reserve near you
      • Want to identify a species you have seen at a Dorset reserve

    Access the SSSI guide for information about the Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Dorset, there are 139 of them. In addition to links to the Natural England database for detailed information you can also explore the additional information and photographs that I have been able to accumulate for some of them. Use the SSSI guide if you: 

      • Want to find out why a site has been designated as a SSSI
      • Want to find where the SSSI and its exact extent by looking at a detailed map
      • Want to find nature reserves and hot-spots within a SSSI that you can visit

    Access the HABITATS guide for details of the primary habitat types you can encounter in Dorset; the features of each and the animals and plants associated with them. Use the HABITATS guide if you: 

      • Want to see what habitat types are commonly found in Dorset
      • Want to know which reserves and hotspots feature a particular habitat type
      • Want to know what species are typically found in a particular habitat type

    Click/tap your selection to move to the next level down:

    Reserves Index

    An alphebetical index to the 300 sites featured on the Nature of Dorset:

    • Discover the character of each site through reviews and photographs
    • See what species occur at each site with the species lists and gallery
    • Get directions to enable you to find the site you wish to visit



    All you need to know about the best places in Dorset to see wildlife:

    • Know the place you want to visit? Use the alphbetical index
    • Looking for options in a part of the county? Use the map
    • Want details of the county's SSSI? Use the SSSI section.


    Reserves Map

    A map showing the location of c300 wildlife sites in Dorset:

    • Find sites near to where you live or are staying in Dorset
    • Plan you day out if you intend to visit more than one site in a day
    • Click any pin to see the site name and to access the full site detail



    An introduction to the habitat types commonly found in Dorset:

    • Interested in habitat and habitat classification? Use the top down guide
    • Looking to see where selected habitats occur in Dorset? Use the map
    • Want to know what vegetation forms a particular habitat type? Use the species lists


    Sites of Special Scientific Interest

    Information about the Sites of Special Scientific Interest here in Dorset:

    • A complete alphabetical list of all SSSI locations from which you can access comprehensive information
    • A map of all the County's SSSI sites showing their location and giving you access to further information
    • Want to know more about SSSI in general? Use the link to the Natural England website