Ownership: ARC

Designation: SSSI, SAC, SPA, Ramsar

Restrictions: Strictly no public access, dangerous site.

Emergency Access: Lake drive

Grid ref: SY 98394 90629

The Reserve

Hamworthy fuel depot is a small piece of dry heath at 3.14 hectares and with no public access it remains a sanctuary for all six native reptile species. The reserve is one of fourteen reserve’s owned by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. Due to its history and previous MoD ownership the site is unsuitable for public access. The site is located in the north west corner of Poole Bay, separated from it by a large freshwater lake which is host to over twenty three species of Odonata including Red-eyed damselfly. The area is also used as a temporary stop off point for many different migrant species of bird.

A Little History

The reserve was once a re-fuelling depot for flying boats from around the 1920’s up to World War Two . During this period the large underground fuel storage reservoir located at the western end of the site took a direct hit from an attacking German bomber.

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


Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata)

Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)

Hobby (Falco subbutteo)


Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus)

Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Grayling (Hipparchia semele)


Southern Hawker (Aeshna cynea)

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva)

Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)

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