Close to nature

Looking out from a hide at Studland Bay

All six native British reptiles live at Studland: sand lizards, common lizards, slow worms, grass snakes, adders and the rare smooth snakes.

Little Sea, a freshwater lake, supports a large number of wintering wildfowl, including pochards, teals, goldeneyes, pintails, tufted ducks, shovelers, gadwalls and coots.

Spectacular invertebrates to spot at Studland include 20 species of dragonfly and damselfly, and rare butterflies including silver washed fritillaries and white admirals.

The beach and dunes, together with Studland and Godlingston Heaths, form a National Nature Reserve with top level protection under European law and international conventions.

Follow the Woodland Walk or the Sand Dunes Trail (below) or try one of four hides overlooking Little Sea and Poole Harbour - look out for marker posts.