Parley common near Hurn Airport in Dorset is 107 hectares of historic heath and a great place to see some true wildlife rarities. ARC is appealing for funds to purchase 19.37 hectares to secure the site for conservation into the future.

Spanning from West Parley to Tricketts Cross estate, Parley common nature reserve is home to all six native species of reptile, all of which are in abundance throughout the reserve. This is due to the common's large areas of prime habitat; extensive south facing dry heath with dry exposed sandy areas ideal for sand lizards and slow worms. In addition, wet to dry heath interfaces make perfect areas for common lizards and smooth snakes, scrubby boundaries loved by adders and a small stream that runs along the eastern edge that is frequented by grass snakes

As an active custodian of 75 hectares for over two decades, ARC now has the opportunity to purchase 19.37 ha of Parley common to secure its future for conservation.  We will maintain this as good quality heathland, providing multiple benefits including: biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, increasing resilience against fires through the use of fire-breaks and preserving it as a nature reserve for the public.

Parley Common has been the site of some interesting firsts. In Heathlands (Collins, 1986) Professor Nigel Webb says that Parley Common is 'renowned for the numerous rare species that have been found there.' It was at Parley Common in the late 19th century that the now extinct Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus) was first discovered. The Large Bagworm (Pachythelia villosella) and the Ringed Carpet (Cleora cincaria) were also first discovered here, as was the smooth snake (Coronella austriaca), which was first recorded in Britain on Parley Heath in 1853. But it was the discovery of the Speckled Footman (Coscinia cribraria) in 1820 that really put Parley Common on the map. Other oddities for the reserve include the first possible record of ground nesting peregrine falcons and, pre-construction of the Tricketts Cross estate, Ladybird Spider (Eresus sandaliatus) records exist.

JustGiving sends your donation straight to Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.

Thank you for your support!