Ownership: ARC

Designation: SSSI, SAC,SPA, Ramsar

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

Access: Gravel Hill Road

Grid ref: SZ 01592 96510

The Reserve

Dunyeats consists of 40 hectares of mainly dry heath and dwarf gorse mix which is typical of many of the Poole heathland reserves. This type of structure is perfect habitat for smooth snakes, added to this a large south facing slope dominates a large part of the reserve. All of these factors combined make Dunyeats an excellent site for reptiles. Other habitats on the reserve include a large acidic pond at the base of the southern slope which is fed by a bog/mire which cuts across the south edge of the site, this is home to palmate and smooth newt and a large amount of common odonata species. The north east corner of the reserve holds a further two more ponds, hidden in the mainly coniferous woodland these well established neutral water bodies are home to grass snake and Kingfisher

A Little History

Dunyeats would have once been part of the much larger Canford Heath, but is now separated from that site by by Gravel Hill Road. A recent housing development on the western edge and a school and a cemetery on the northern boundary complete the isolation of this  heathland fragment; a common case amongst our Dorset heaths.

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

Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris

Common Frog (Rana temporaria


Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata)

Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)

Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)

Hobby (Falco subbutteo)

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)


Silver Studded Blue (Plebejus argus)

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Grayling (Hipparchia semele)


Southern Hawker (Aeshna cynea)

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva)

Scarce Emerald Damselfly (Lestes dryas)

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