Size: 24 hectares

Ownership: Dorset Wildlife Trust / ARC

Designation: SSSI, SAC, SPA, Ramsar

Restrictions: Open Access Land, please keep dogs on a lead and keep to main paths. Horse riding and cycling is only permitted on statutory
bridleways. No camping or fires of any kind.

Access: Poole, Sandy Lane BH165EJ and Shore Lane BH165EP

Grid ref: SY 97513 92862 & SY 97929 92447

A complex of reserves forming the southern edge of Lytchett Bay. A great place to visit to see all the heathland rarities and possibly the odd rare migrant bird.

The Reserve

Lytchett Heath is split into three blocks totalling 24 hectares. The largest of the three consists of a range of habitats including dry heath, humid heath, and reedbed. The second block located to the east is smaller in size, its habitat mirrors that of its larger neighbour. The final block is the smallest and consists entirely of reedbed.

What to see

The heath and scrub areas of the reserves, although small, hold large populations of sand lizards and adders. All six reptile species are found on each individual block. These include the common lizard, slow-worm, grass snake, smooth snake and the adder.

Common frogs and toads and palmate newts can be found in the wetter reedbeds. 

The three sites form the southern edge of Lytchett Bay making the reserves not only great for reptiles and amphibans but a great place to see migrant birds and butterflies. Some other species of interest you might spot on the reserves included
Dartford warbler, nightjar, marsh harrier and merlin birds, along with clouded yellow butterflies.