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
Victory for Harapan Rainforest
Beautiful Hutan Harapan forest is a precious remnant of the rainforest that once covered much of Sumatra (Photo: RSPB-images/Steve Roland) Hutan Harapan is one of the last remaining areas of dry lowland Sumatran forest and is among the most th...(r...Posted 12/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell
Rila Mountains: The Final Piece in Bulgaria's Protected Area Network for Birds
Daniel Pullan, our International Casework Manager writes: I was thrilled last week when my Bulgarian colleague Irina Mateeva told me that the Bulgarian Government had designated the last part of the Rila Mountains as a Special Protection Area. This a...Posted 04/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell
A net gain for nature
How can built development leave the natural environment in a better shape than it was before? This is the question at the heart of Defra’s recent consultation on ‘biodiversity net gain’. We know from the State of Nature 2016 report ...(read more)Posted 01/03/2019 by Simon Marsh
What will the new NPPF mean for places, people and nature?
On Tuesday the Government published a new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England. You can see our previous commentary on the draft version here , here and here . The NPPF sets out the Government’s planning policies for England...(read ...Posted 27/07/2018 by Steph