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Your Borough Of Poole

Canford Heath nature reserve

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 Canford Heath 

 Canford Heath Road
 Poole, BH21 3BW 

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About this nature reserve

Canford Heath is an 850 acre site and one of the largest remaining areas of heathland in Dorset. The heath is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is protected under UK law and EU conservation directives.

Careful management of the heath is needed to stop other plant life from blocking out the heather which the local wildlife relies on.

Canford Heath offers a real feel of wilderness and you can easily spend 2 hours walking or cycling on the paths.

Visit the Poole's heathlands Facebook page.

View the fire access map for Canford Heath.

Types of habitat

  • broad-leaf woodland

  • dry and wet heath 

  • valley mire and bog.

What to see

The heath is home to all British reptile species:

  • dragonflies

  • damselflies

  • the Dartford Warbler

  • the Nightjar

Read about the Nightjar project taking place in Summer 2018.

There are also fantastic views of Corfe Castle and the Purbecks.


There is limited parking on roads near this reserve.


Your dog must be on a short lead during bird breeding, 1 March - 31 July, or when livestock are near.

Remember to keep dogs under close control and to pick up after them.


You can access this reserve from: 

  • Gravel Hill lay-by

  • Culliford Crescent

  • Francis Avenue. 


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