Group tours are available on request. All groups by prior arrangement only please. Call 01202 709445 (answerphone service) for further details.
Click on the arrow below to start the webcam.
Size: 101 hectares
Diverse habitats & wildlife, including a red squirrel population. The reserve is leased from the National Trust, situated in Poole Harbour with a large sheltered lagoon; particularly important for overwintering & summer breeding birds. A day spent exploring its flooded woodland, lakes, reedbed & pine woods is unlikely to disappoint.
There are five bird hides overlooking the lagoon, lakes and reedbed.
The Villa Wildlife Centre has toilets, an exhibition and gift shop.
There is a suggested £2 donation for entry into the nature reserve (or a £5 season ticket).
NB - Dogs not allowed at this reserve.
- Large flocks of waders, particularly avocets, black-tailed godwits & visiting wildfowl over winter.
- In the summer breeding common and sandwich terns, gulls & little egrets.
- The reedbeds & alder carr are home to water voles & sika deer, with kingfishers & water rails providing avian interest.
- Approx. 200 Red Squirrels!
Best time to visit:
- Boats travel to the island from March to November.
- Come early in the year for winter bird visitors, or in summer for breeding terns.
- Autumn is best for red squirrel watching.
Good viewing from hides and a system of paths & boardwalk give access to most of the habitats .
Map ref. SZ 028878. No road access.
Public ferries run daily to the island from Sandbanks from 10am March - November, check for details. Also, ferries from Poole Quay & Bournemouth Pier.
Access to the reserve is 150m from the National Trust Quay on the island.
Things to Do Online
Brownsea Island Interactive Wildlife Map
Brownsea Virtual Walk
Adopt a Red Squirrel
Our nature reserve on Brownsea Island has been kindly supported by Barclays