• Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter


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Top things to do in Spring

  1. Take an amble along the heathland trails - from April onwards is the best time to see sand lizards and smooth snakes
  2. Look out from the viewpoint across Poole Harbour and watch the first summer visitors such as Sandwich terns and swallows arriving
  3. Stand and absorb the spring birdsong. The melodies of woodlarks and Dartford warblers come from the heath, and calls of nuthatches and warblers merge with the drumming of woodpeckers in the woods

Top things to do in Summer

  1. Explore the heathland at dusk from June onwards and listen for 'churring' nightjars
  2. Picnic by one of the wildlife ponds and watch the colourful aerobatics of dragonflies and damselflies
  3. Wander around the heathland trails and soak up the colours as the heather flowers in a mass of purple

Top things to do in Autumn

  1. Watch ospreys fishing from the Coombe nature trail during September and October, refuelling for the long journey to Africa
  2. Around Arne Farm and woodland, listen out for the strange cries of the sika stags as they lay claim to their territories
  3. Explore the trails for fungi and marvel at the shapes and colours

Top things to do in Winter

  1. Settle yourself in at Coombe nature trail hide at low tide and watch the sights and sounds of hundreds of avocets and black-tailed godwits feeding out on the mud
  2. Explore Arne Farm and watch large flocks of chaffinches, linnets and reed buntings feeding on the arable crop and redwings and fieldfares feeding on the pasture
  3. Stroll around Shipstal Point and be amazed by the thousands of waterbirds in Poole Harbour; you have a good chance of seeing the spectacular spoonbills

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Visitor comments

Absolutely stunning - have been visiting near Swanage for over 30 years and never knew about Arne. The golden colours of autumn, glorious sunshine, clear blue skies, deer roaming freely, Poole Harbour in the distance. We enjoyed the 'long' walk and will return. Wonderful.

Richard Leach

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Your photos

  • Osprey carrying a fish
  • Osprey
  • Osprey juvenile fishing
  • Sika Deer Stag at Arne
  • Nightjar - Arne Cafe
  • Nightjar
  • White Stag
  • Sika deer, January 2016

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