Set against the backdrop of Poole Harbour the 565 hectares of Arne is famous for its wide open heathlands, ancient oak woodland and reedbeds. Here you can explore a diverse landscape of mudflats, scrub, wet woodland, acid grassland and sandy beaches. Arne is a fantastic place for family walks at any time of year and has played host to the BBC’s Autumwatch.
Natural Habitat Conserved
Arne’s natural habitat is carefully managed to create the ideal conditions for wildlife to thrive. Lowland heath is a threatened habitat that is home to many rare birds as well as reptiles and insects.
Recently cattle, ponies and pigs have been introduced to develop a naturalised grazing system. Similar to the traditional grazing system used in the New Forest these free roaming animals will help restore natural patterns of habitat.
Arne is also a Visitor Hub for the Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve (read more Nature and Wildlife in Wareham and Purbeck).
Nature Spectacles all year around
RSPB Arne is one of the best places in the UK to spot the Dartford Warbler, especially during the Spring when they are nesting. In summer Arne is one of the few places in the UK to host all six species of native reptile. On warm days you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a sand lizard basking in the sun or a slow worm slithering across your path. At dusk you may hear the unique call of the nightjar churring in the heath.
Autumn is the rutting season for Arne’s Sika deer or you may see an Osprey who often call into Arne before heading south.
In Winter you can watch the internationally important numbers of wading birds who gather in nearby Poole Harbour. Arne gets large flocks of waders including avocets and spoonbill.
An area of heathland that is a vital habitat for some of our rarest wildlife. Woodlarks, sandlizards, Dartford warblers and many other beautiful creatures benefit form this special piece. Open to visitors but dogs are not allowed due to the risk to wildlife.
Events throughout the year
Arne run a number of events throughout the whole year, suitable for the whole family to enjoy. See details below…