Set against the backdrop of Poole Harbour, RSPB Arne seems to have it all. Famous for its wide-open heathlands where reptiles roam, there's ancient oak woodlands, farmland and reedbeds to explore. If that wasn’t enough, there's also mudflats, scrub, wet woodland and acid grasslands, where a huge variety of wildlife, which call Arne home, can be found.


The RSPB’s Arne reserve in Dorset is at the heart of the UK’s first ever 'super National Nature Reserve' – Purbeck Heaths.

Where is RSPB Arne?

RSPB Arne is on the Arne peninsular, set against Poole Harbour in Dorset.

How big is RSPB Arne?

RSPB Arne is about 565 hectares in size and home to a variety of different habitats including ancient oak woodland, farmland, mudflats, scrub, and acid grassland.

What can you see at RSPB Arne?

With such diverse habitats you can expect to see a whole array of different wildlife, from the smooth snake to rare Dartford warbler, woodlarks to heath tiger beetles and ladybird spiders.

Other birds you can see there are the spoonbill, nightjar, stonechats, great spotted woodpeckers and avocets - depending on when you visit. But whatever the season it pays to keep your eyes open!

You may also see livestock such as cattle, ponies and pigs as they help maintain the grazing for wildlife.

What is RSPB Arne most famous for?

RSPB Arne is famous as the only place in the UK where all six species of native reptiles can be found.

When's the best time to visit RSPB Arne?

RSPB Arne comes alive at spring with rare breeding birds and specialised heathland insects, but it is worth visiting throughout the year.

Summer highlights include dragonflies and damselflies and the silver-studded blue butterfly, while autumn is famous for migrating birds, including osprey, and the sika deer rut.

Winter may be cold and wet but it is the perfect time to see large flocks of waders including avocets, black-tailed godwits, and dunlin.

BBC Springwatch 2023 will be coming from RSPB Arne 29 May - 15 June


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