Townsend Nature Reserve

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


Townsend Nature Reserve

Site Details: 
Name of Location Townsend Nature Reserve
Highlights Orchids, Chalk grassland flora, Views
  • Parking can be difficult
  • No visitor facilities
  • Information display
  • No defined paths
OS Map Reference SZ024786
Aspect Detail
Manager Dorset Wildlife Trust
Area Isle of Purbeck
Geology Limestone
Hazards for the less able: 
Hazard Commentsort descending Description
Livestock Horses are used to graze the reserve

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 The whole reserve is on a north-facing slope which is a little steep 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. 

Rough Ground There are no well made paths here

Nature reserves exist for the wildlife and plants that are found there and are not always visitor friendly, especially some smaller reserves. The ground on some reserves can be very rough going even when there are paths present and would not be passable by those who are less mobile.

More site photos (see also link below): 

This map shows the location of the reserve (purple marker) and access points to the reserve (yellow markers). You can use the Google map controls to zoom in get a more detailed idea of where it is and where to park. If you click on a marker more information about directions,  sat nav co-ordinates and parking will display.

The Nature of Dorset on Facebook

The Nature of Dorset on Twitter

Print or Email this page:

Printer Friendly and PDF

The Nature of Dorset on Blogger

Add this page to your social network: