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Canford Heath

Canford Heath is the largest site within the project and is the fourth largest heathland in Dorset.




Canford Heath has several owners. The majority is owned by Borough of Poole (BoP) with smaller pockets owned by the Beales family, Wessex Water and Whites.


The site covers an area of 420 Hectares. In 1985 the site was designated as a SSSI. Borough of Poole manages the majority of the SSSI area, which covers 380Hectares.

It also has the designation of Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The site comprises of 21 working compartments, some of which are sub divided and there are many trackways to drive along to help patrol more effectively. The points of contact for Canford Heath are the Wardens Karen Elborne and Terry Elborne. They are an endless source of information and maintain a high contact level regarding all activities on site.

A mixture of urban infrastructure surrounds the site from housing estates to landfill plus a couple of main roads. It is easy to access which means the urban pressures are very high. It has a very active community group called Canford Heathwatch of which several key members have homes that back onto the heath and use it daily. The group have been established for many years and are an endless source of local information and information on incidents. Users of the site can provide eyes and ears to help protect the heath and grazing animals.

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