Ownership: ARC

Designation: SSSI, SPA, Ramsar

Restrictions: Open Access Land, please keep dogs on a lead.

Access: A351

Grid ref: SY 95146 82985

The Reserve

Located directly opposite Norden Farm, Corfe Bluff is a 7 hectare site of largely dry heath grading down to a large pond surrounded by wetter areas of purple moor-grass. The reserve is home to all six species of reptile but especially good for sand lizards and adders. Other species of interest on the site include Hornet Robberfly and Oil beetle. Corfe Bluff is also a great place to see migrant birds and butterflies as they arrive or depart to continental Europe and Africa.

A Little History

Once part of the Norden heath complex, but now separated from that site by the A 351, Corfe Bluff was previously owned by English China Clay and used to be worked for ball clay. The resulting varied topography has proved beneficial for many aspects of wildlife.

Species you might spot:


Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis)  

Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara) 

Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis) 

Grass Snake (Natrix natrix) 

Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca) 

Adder (Vipera berus) 


Common Toad (Bufo bufo) 

Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus) 

Common Frog (Rana temporaria) 


Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)

Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)

Hobby (Falco subbutteo)


Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera)

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Grayling (Hipparchia semele)


Southern Hawker (Aeshna cynea)

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva)

This is by no means a comprehensive list of species on the reserve.