Brownsea joins new 'super' National Nature Reserve

Flowering heather against sky

With the increasing need for a bigger, better and more joined-up approach to nature conservation, seven leading partners have come together to help protect wildlife by creating the UK’s first ever ‘super’ National Nature Reserve (NNR) on the Purbeck Heaths in Dorset.

This new super NNR ‘knits’ together 11 types of priority habitat giving greater protection for wildlife in an area similar in size to Blackpool.  It will allow rare and varied wildlife, including the sand lizard, the Dartford warbler, and the silver studded blue butterfly, the freedom to move around creating a better chance of adapting and thriving in light of the current climate crisis.

Purbeck Heaths is one of the most biodiverse places in the UK – home to thousands of species of wildlife, including 450 that are listed as rare, threatened or protected. Indeed, Purbeck includes the richest recorded 10km square for biodiversity in the UK.

" Brownsea Island was lowland heath since prehistoric times, but the Victorians worked hard to convert it into farmland and forestry, we’re in it for managing nature now. It’s being transformed."



By working together and combining land, expertise and a common vision, the National Trust, Natural England, RSPB, Forestry England, the Rempstone Estate, Dorset Wildlife Trust and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, along with other landowners and managers, are taking important strides forward in landscape-scale conservation and nature recovery.

Brownsea Island's heathland areas are being carefully managed by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers
Lakes and Heathland walk, image 2 Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island's heathland areas are being carefully managed by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers