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Black-tailed godwit at Brownsea Island
Black-tailed godwit | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

Brownsea Island wildlife walk

There is plenty of wildlife and history to observe on this walk, which cuts through mixed broadleaf and pine woodland at the centre of the island. Catch a glimpse of a rare red squirrel or discover traces of Brownsea's once industrial past.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Path next to church

Step 1

Start the walk from the path to the right of the church and walk in the opposite direction from the quay.

Step 2

Carry straight along this path. In spring and autumn, this is one of the best places to see red squirrels as they feed on sweet chestnut and beech tree nuts.

Red squirrel on Brownsea Island, Dorset
Look up for a better chance of spotting a red squirrel on Brownsea Island | © National Trust Images / John Millar

Step 3

Pass the Vinery and turn left at the Whispering seat, then continue through ideal red squirrel territory, with mature Scots pine trees on your left.

Goldcrest nest at Brownsea Island, Dorset
Goldcrest nest at Brownsea Island, Dorset | © National Trust

Step 4

Pass the lily pond and at the top of the hill take the next path on your left signposted to the Visitor Centre and quay.

Pine trees in woodland with the sun shining through, on Brownsea Island, Dorset
Sun shining through pine trees on Brownsea Island | © National Trust Images / Chris Lacey

Step 5

Follow the path and on your right you will see what remains of the daffodil plantation which was established in the early 20th century by the Van Raaltes, who were the owners at the time.

Daffodils in the garden at East Riddlesden Hall
Daffodil fields in spring | © Ellen Glover

Step 6

At the farm buildings turn left, which brings you onto Church Field and back to where you started.

A peacock walking in the woods at Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset
Peacock taking a walk through the woods | © National Trust Images / Rob Coleman

End point

End: Path next to church, grid ref: SZ022876

Trail map

Map of Brownsea Island wildlife walk
Map of Brownsea Island wildlife walk | © National Trust

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More near here

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This gentle walk passes through some of the most beautiful and varied habitats on Brownsea, including heathland and woodland – perfect for wildlife watching and photography.

DistanceMiles: 1 (km: 1.6)

Get in touch

Poole Harbour, Poole, Dorset, BH13 7EE

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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