Size : 22 hectares

Ownership: 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: A351

Grid ref: SY 94351 83189

Norden is a beautiful and secluded site hidden away in the Purbeck.

The Reserve

The reserve consists of a range of habitats including dry heath wet heath and acid bog. Combinations of these habitats result in a reserve diverse in wildlife. It is part of the largest area of lowland heath managed as a single National Nature Reserve (NNR) in England created in 2020. NNR's are some of the most important wildlife sites in England. They are declared by Natural England and collectively have three core purposes: nature conservation and recovery, scientific research and connecting people and nature. Norden was used for the extraction of ball clay from around the mid 1800’s. Clay from the area was exported by rail to the nearby coastal area of Arne to where it would be transported for use around the world.

What to see

Dry sandy heath dominates the north of the reserve, which is home to sand lizards and the
rare hornet robber- fly. Grading down from the dry heath the site becomes a mix of wet heath and acid bog with a mire which runs through the centre of the reserve which is home to many dragonfly species including the southern damselfly and migrant birds. Across the mire the site becomes a mix of heath and deciduous woodland within which a large pond is located providing habitat for great crested newts.

Find out more about the creation of the UK’s largest NNR