Heathlands are important places for wildlife and open spaces for people. Heathlands grow in a few areas around the UK and Europe, including Dorset.
Our heaths 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.