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Dorset Heaths

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.

    • Canford Heath
    • Dorset heaths are some of the country's best wildlife sites. Dorset heathland habitats are considered internationally important.
    • Urban heaths partnership logo
    • The Urban Heaths Partnership is made up of 14 organisations working together to protect and enhance the Dorset heathlands.
    • Education landing page
    • Free education activities are offered to schools and community groups to encourage an appreciation of local heathland sites.
    • Dorset heath monitoring
    • Monitoring is carried out in many ways to help our local heathland sites by identifying areas of need and potential management practices.
    • Wardening
    • Wardens regularly patrol the heaths and attend local events as a point of contact with the public.
    • heathland path
    • Current projects include Dorset Dogs, who promote responsible dog ownership, and past projects involving Sandford Heritage.
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