Arne Appeal

  • 67

    hectares to give nature a bigger, better home
  • 1 in 10

    heathland species at risk of extinction
  • 2565

    species call Arne home
Our Target


Current 200000

Thank you for helping to secure 67 crucial hectares at Arne

We've hit our appeal target thanks to you! This delightful jewel of the Dorset coast is simply mesmeric. A breathtaking vista brimming with such an array of wildlife, from southern damselflies to Dartford warblers; striking ladybird spiders to sand lizards, and birds of prey like marsh harriers and ospreys. 

There's probably nowhere with a wider variety of nature in the whole of the UK. But a once in a lifetime opportunity arose to make Arne an even better home for nature and you've helped us on the way to securing it. If you would still like to donate to the appeal, we'll use all the surplus funds above our £200k target to pay for restoration work. This will maintain and develop the land to its former glory, creating the perfect conditions for silver-studded blue butterflies, Dartford warblers and smooth snakes.

2565 Species image

Working together to save nature

All this would not be possible without the support of our partners: The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Dr Peter A Lawrence & The Betty Liebert Trust and the Derek Allpass Foundation. Thank you!

By providing vital heathland habitat, Hyde’s Heath will have a real, tangible impact on our efforts to save nature, giving a home to some of our rarest and most vulnerable wildlife, including woodlarks, nightjars and sand lizards.

Heritage Fund logo - blue circle

Fantastic footage of Arne

Get a birds-eye view of Arne's beauty and the 67 hectares of forgotten land we're working to secure.

Arial footage of Arne and the missing piece “Hydes Heath”. Help us restore 67 hectares of forgotten land to its natural beauty.

Together, here's what more we could do

"Thank you - we're now a step closer to giving nature this wonderful home. Now, let's seize this incredible opportunity to restore Arne's missing piece."
Chris Packham, RSPB Vice President

You are helping connect RSPB Arne by helping us buy the missing piece.

Securing this place of incredible conservation importance, and connecting it with our wider RSPB Arne nature reserve and RSPB Arne Moors has will give us the chance to:

  • provide a bigger, better home for priority species that have been highlighted as some of our most rare and vulnerable wildlife, like woodlarks and nightjars
  • protect mudflats where globally important populations of wading birds, including spoonbills, avocets and little egrets forage for food
  • restore Hyde’s Heath to its natural heathland state and link the site to Arne’s existing habitats.

You can still suppor this appeal if you want to. We will use any surplus funds from the appeal to help restore this amazing heathland to its full glory. Please donate today.

RSPB Vice President Chris Packham

Heathland is so important

Arne’s heath is a complex mosaic of grasslands, ponds, woods and, of course, heather. That’s why this unique habitat can support birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects in incredible numbers. 

But, despite heathland’s unrivalled value for wildlife, extensive forestry, intensive farming, and urban development have made it globally rarer than rainforest. We’ve lost 84% of the UK’s lowland heathland since 1800. That’s an area larger than Norfolk!

 Dartford warbler, Arne RSPB reserve, Dorset
Dartford warbler on heath
Ladybird spider

Bigger & better-connected

In the face of such shocking declines, we’ve spent over 50 years restoring Arne’s heathlands to their former glory, slowly growing the size of the reserve, to help make this peninsula one of the most biodiverse places in the UK.

We have now hit our appeal target. Your genorosity has helped us buy Hyde's Heath - a place that has the potential to be restored and connected to our reserve's existing heathlands. You can still help to do make a difference and donate if you'd like to. You'll help us clear small pines from the heathland, stopping it becoming pine woodland and shading out heathland plants. We can create homes for sand lizards, heath tiger beetles and Purbeck mason wasps. And we can manage the gorse, creating the ideal habitat for Dartford warblers and nightjars.

A bigger and better-connected RSPB Arne now means more birds, and other wildlife will benefit. Please help us restore Hyde's Heath.

Blue wood texture background

See Arne in glorious 360

Take a virtual trip of Arne and explore a panorama of this special place.

There's no place like Arne

To give you an idea of how special this corner of the south-west coast is for nature, in 2016 the team at Arne joined up with experts and members of the public to take part in a televised ‘bioblitz’. Together, we surveyed all of the wildlife we could find at Arne. Overall we spotted 667 species, with more than half being new discoveries for the reserve.

Spectacularly, it puts our latest count at 2,565 species that call RSPB Arne home. And to think that they’re just the ones we know about!

It’s the sheer variety of wildlife that’s astonishing, though. From kingfishers to cuckoos; rare silver-studded blue butterflies to elegant sika deer; daytime-hunting peregrines to dusk-haunting nightjars, the list goes on and on.

Not to mention that Arne is one of the only places where all six of the UK’s reptiles can be found, such as smooth snakes and fluorescent sand lizards.

Fluorescent sand lizard

Give today to restore Arne's missing piece


creates habitat for sand lizards, heath tiger beetles and Purbeck mason wasps


clears pines from the heathland, meaning the heathland species can thrive


creates the perfect conditions for silver-studded blue butterflies, Dartford warblers and smooth snakes.