Heathlands are important open spaces for people and wildlife. Heathlands grow in a few areas around the UK and Europe, including Dorset. They are home to very rare specialist animals and plants, including some of our most endangered species.
Dorset's heathlands once covered over 50,000 hectares, stretching from the Avon Valley in the east to Dorchester in the west. Changes in agricultural practice, conifer planting, scrub encroachment, urban expansion and road building have all contributed to a reduction in area. Dorset's fragmented heaths total approximately 7,000 hectares today.
About the Dorset Heaths
The heathlands in Dorset are owned, managed and protected by law. Over 96% of Dorset's heaths are classified as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a designation given to the most valuable wildlife habitats.
Community and events
Heathlands are valuable green open spaces for local communities. Local communities can help protect their heathland sites by using them responsibly and by getting involved.
Education plays an important role in encouraging young people to take an interest in the heathlands and to understand the importance of heath sites.
- Resources and downloads
Free newsletters, leaflets, posters, the Heathland Code and other resources to help you learn more about how to protect the heathlands.
Urban Heaths Partnership
Working together on Action for Heaths
A number of projects relating to the Dorset Heaths have been or are currently running.
Urban Heaths Partnership Wardens regularly patrol the heaths and act as a point of contact with the public, raising awareness of problems
The Urban Heaths Partnership (UHP) team are running free activities for all ages at events near you this summer.
Name: Urban Heaths Partnership - Project Office
Tel: 01202 642 787
Full details for Urban Heaths Partnership - Project Office