Purbeck is one of the richest places for wildlife in the UK. This is thanks to its unique combination of open coast, natural harbour, heathland, chalk and limestone habitats.
Dorset heath thrives here with an incredible variety of rare insects, such as southern damselflies.
Nationally-important numbers of brent geese and avocets choose Poole Harbour as their home over winter. The harbour is also home to a large colony of breeding terns, and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, England’s only natural World Heritage Site.
Writers and artists such as Thomas Hardy, Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland all drew inspiration from Purbeck’s beauty.
From its thriving tourist economy, to its farming communities and military ranges, Purbeck is as vital for people as it is for wildlife.
Explore the area
Find out what’s going on near this Futurescape, including places to visit, news and local events, plus how you can work or volunteer for us.
Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The key RSPB reserves within this Futurescape are:
This is an unusual yet important landscape where you can enjoy a vast expanse of open heathland and old oak woodland. Arne is a fantastic place for family walks at any time of year, has played host to BBC's Autumnwatch and has regular children's days which enable all the family to learn about the nature of the heaths.
We're working to safeguard and improve special places for nature. Each Futurescape contains a range of initiatives in addition to our reserves. The combination of these creates better conditions for wildlife across the countryside.
The RSPB has been managing heathland in Dorset for more than 30 years. In 1989, we established the Dorset Heathland Project to promote heathland conservation outside our reserves. Staff work with landowners to remove invasive scrub and rejuvenate heather and gorse.
The south west is blessed with a geography and climate which should be able to support a vibrant renewable energy industry. However, while there is a great prize to be won here, we need to work hard to ensure that any renewable energy development is sited with minimal impact to the environment.
Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in Wild Purbeck. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:
Saving special places
Curlews in crisis: one year on
For this year’s World Curlew Day, Thursday 21st April 2022, amongst the enjoyment of this beautiful yet gravely threatened bird, comes an update on the ambitious conservation delivery project, Curlews in crisis (Curlew LIFE). The project is app...(re...Posted 21/04/2022 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
The conservationist's dilemma: an update on the science, policy and practice of the impact of predators on wild birds (8)
As we have written in previous years, the decision to introduce any form of predator control (lethal or non-lethal) is something we never take lightly. It’s always based on evidence and guided by the RSPB’s Council-agreed policy. The RSPB...(read mor...Posted 20/09/2021 by martinfowlie
G7 Commentary - Nature compact success or failure?
For the first time the G7 has made a nature-positive commitment to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030. This is unprecedented. Never before we have seen nature prioritised in a way that recognises the importance of a healthy natural wor...Posted 14/06/2021 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
A big step for international whale conservation - sei whale Key Biodiversity Area in Falklands
By Michelle Winnard, Communications Officer, Falklands Conservation Sei whale by Caroline Weir, Falklands Conservation In a big step for international whale conservation, the Falkland Islands have been confirmed as a hotspot for a globally end...(re...Posted 12/05/2021 by Heather Mitchell