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17 September 2014
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Heathland | Studland

Studland map

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Studland Nature Reserve in Dorset is one of the UK's top heathland sites and is home to a host of interesting insect and reptile life.

The nature reserve incorporates Gollingston Heath, which lies just behind Studland Beach and provides a great habitat among its dry, sandy soil for all six of our native species of reptiles.

Heathland Index (Image: Whitbarrow c/o Natural England and Glendell)

Return to Heathland

Some moors are wild and remote places, but they are also great for nature if you're prepared to look carefully.

Heathland activities (Image: Peter  Roworth adn Natural England)

Heathland activities

  • Heathlands are good places for wildlife watchers because they are ideal habitats for reptiles and rare plants.

Studland - Visitor Guide


Studland Beach & Nature Reserve, Countryside Office, Studland, Swanage, Dorset.

Postcode BH19 3AX
Telephone:01929 450 259
Location map:Multimap of Studland area
Grid reference:Grid reference: SZ036825
Key attractions:

Insects. Reptiles. Plants and flowers.

Essential kit:Magnifying glass for resting insects. Reptile and insect identification guides.
Nature watching:

Six of our native species of reptiles.


Moths - July is the best time to spot them.


Guided walks and animal safaris in summer.


Toilets at Knoll and Middle Beach and baby-changing facilities.


Refreshments/cafe available at visitor centre.


Disabled Access: Disabled parking and adapted toilets at Shell Bay, Knoll Beach and Middle Beach. Grounds are partly accessible - wheelchairs suitable for beach use available for loan. Ramped entrance to shop and refreshment area.

Getting there:

Getting there: Studland Nature Reserve is situated in Dorset on the south coast of England.

By car: From the west, take the A351 from Wareham and turn left onto the B351 until you reach Studland Village then follow the signs to Studland Beach Park. From the east, take the ferry from Sandbanks to Poole Harbour then walk along the beach past Shell Bay.


Rail: Nearest stations are Branksome and Parkstone, both 3½ miles to Shell Bay or 6 mile to Studland via ferry.


Car parking: Parking available at Shell Bay and South Beach (open 9am - 11pm) and The Knoll and Middle Beach (open 9am - 8pm). Prices vary by season and parking is often limited during peak times.

Opening times:

Year round.

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