Skip Navigation

Wildlife - plants and animals

Wildlife on today's heathland has adapted to survive on dry and wet heath, bogs and mires, woodland edge and bare patches of sand and gravel. Many animals and plants found on heathlands cannot be found in any other place and are protected by law.

  • Nightjar. Credit - HCT: Link to Heathland birdsHeathland birds

    Heathland is important for birds like the nightjar, stonechat and the much rarer woodlark and Dartford warbler. Many other common or garden birds are heathland visitors, living in neighbouring gardens or woodlands, making Dorset a bird-watcher's paradise.

  • Silver studded blue with wings closed: Link to Heathland InvertebratesHeathland Invertebrates

    The Heath tiger beetle (Cicindela sylvatica) and heath bee-fly (Bombylius minor) are just two of over 5,000 invertebrates to be found on Dorset Heaths.

  • Bell heather in flowers: Link to Heathland PlantsHeathland Plants

    The word "heath" is derived from heather and the people who lived on the heath were the original "heathens". All wild plants and flowers found on the heath are protected.

  • Smooth snake.Credit - Andy Fale: Link to Heathland ReptilesHeathland Reptiles

    Dorset Heaths are home to all six native reptiles: Smooth snake, Grass snake, Adder, Sand Lizard, Common Lizard and Slow worm.

  • Dartford warbler by K Cook: Link to The changing seasons on the heathlandThe changing seasons on the heathland

    The seasonal changes to the heathland bring with it new birds, plants and animals. Changes in climate can also be seen on the heath such as the influx of Painted Lady butterflies or more frequent visits from such birds as the Hoopoe.

Powered by GOSS iCM
Feedback Form