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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

Dorset 3 - RSPB Arne: waders & the landscapes of the Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve 31.03.21

I got to RSPB Arne from my hotel in Poole by train (to Wareham), by bus (to Stoborough Green ) and by foot (4 miles walk) to Arne is part of the Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve Home - Purbeck Heaths Arne is famous for Dartford Warblers (due to targeted conservation) and UK reptiles.

The RSPB first bought land here in 1965 to safeguard heathland species such as the smooth snake, sand lizard and Dartford warbler. In 1965 Arne was home to two pairs of Dartford warbler, 50 years later there are more than 70 pairs. RSPB Arne remains one of the few places in the UK where all six of the UK's native reptiles can be found. The reserve is a haven for wildlife and has many designations including SSSI, SPA and SAC status. Arne Nature Reserve, Dorset - The RSPB

It was so abnormally cold - 6 degrees, with a pronounced wind-chill (and it snowed at one point) I saw no Dartford Warblers or reptiles, although I did hear some Dartford Warblers.

My hotel (Travelodge) on Holes Bay, Poole, from the train station

Some views of Wareham (a Saxon walled town, you can still walk round the earth walls)

The Quay

The Renaissance-Revival Victorian Town Hall

The Bear Hotel

Eighteenth Century Alms Houses

The nineteenth century Oddfellows Hall, turned into a cinema in 1921

See: The history of the Oddfellows for the history of the Oddfellows, mutual, friendly society. For this history of the Rex, one of the oldest cinemas in the country see: The Rex Cinema - Rex History

From the bus stop at Stoborough Green

The road to Arne through the Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve


Blue Tit

House Sparrow


Jackdaw, with nesting material


Stoborough Heath

A Great Tit

After four miles of walking - I arrived I arrived at the visitor's centre.

I followed the Red Trail round Shipstal

Brent Geese at Shipstal Beach

Oystercatcher and Black-Headed Gull

Oystercatchers and Brent Geese

Views of Shipstal Beach


Brent Geese (the same geese as above)

Shipstal Beach

Great Black-Back Gulls and Cormorants

Shripstal Beach



Saltmarshes from heathland

The Hide that overlooks the Wareham Chanel a(Hotlham Heath is on the other side of the channel.

Looking across the saltmarshes to Poole

Four of the eight Spoonbills currently resident in the Wareham Channel

Little Egrets

Canada Geese

Poole Harbour

The Wood

Wareham Chanel

A Blue Tit

Arne Church and Primroses

A Robin

Coombe Trail (Middlebere Lake (a stream running into Poole Harbour)

Male Stonechat in the car park

A Pool

Corfe Castle in the disatnce

end of Middelbere Lake

From the Curlew Hide

Shelducks and Teal

Black-Headed Gulls

Teal and Black-Headed Gulls

Middlebere Lake

Shelducks, Black-Tailed Godwits and Curlew

A Chaffinch

The Curlew Hide


A Curlew



Black-Tailed Godwits and Wigeon

Wigeon, Black-Tailed Godwit and Curlew

plus Black-Headed Gulls

Wigeon and Curlew

Middlebere Hide

Black-tailed Godwits

Herring Gulls and Godwits

Black-Tailed Godwits

Hyde's Heath Trail (not on RSPB map but a new RSPB Arne trail)

I heard Dartford Warblers nearby but didn't see them)

Blue Tot

Wood Ants

Hyde's Heath

Wareham Channel from Hyde's Heath

I did

This is it.

A Chaffinch

A Redwing

Wareham Channel

Deer at Wareham

The Quay at Wareham , where I had my evening pub meal



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