Brownsea Island Nature Reserve

The Island is open daily from 21 March-1 November 2015 (Mon-Sun, 10am-5pm)

Group tours are available on request. All groups by prior arrangement only please. Call 01202 709445 (answerphone service) for further details.

PLEASE NOTE: Members of Dorset Wildlife Trust do NOT have to pay a landing fee on arrival at Brownsea Island if they are only visiting the Dorset Wildlife Trust nature reserve. However, a valid membership card will need to be shown to National Trust staff on arrival. If you would like to visit the rest of the Island you must pay the National Trust landing charges for this.

The Brownsea Lagoon Webcam

Click on the arrow above to start the webcam.

Wildlife camera system by Wildlife Windows Ltd

Lagoon webcam in collaboration with Birds of Poole Harbour.

General Information

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.

Wildlife interest:

  • 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.

Brownsea Island map

Things to Do Online

Brownsea Island Interactive Wildlife Map

Brownsea Virtual Walk

Adopt a Red Squirrel

Barclays Bank

Our nature reserve on Brownsea Island has been kindly supported by Barclays


Recent Sightings & Tweets

Audio Podcast

Click the arrow to listen to Brownsea Island podcast:


Info Downloads

> Nature Trail Leaflet

> Warden's Sightings - March 15

> Warden's Sightings - Oct 14
> Warden's Sightings - Sept 14
> Warden's Sightings - July 14
> Warden's Sightings - June 14
> Warden's Sightings - May 14

> Warden's Sightings - August 13
> Warden's Sightings - May 13
> Warden's Sightings - April 13
> Warden's Sightings - March 13

> Warden's Sightings - Sept 12
> Warden's Sightings - May 12
> Warden's Sightings - Apr 12
> Warden's Sightings - Mar 12

> Warden's Sightings - Oct 11
> Warden's Sightings - Aug 11
> Warden's Sightings - July 11
> Warden's Sightings - May 11

> Warden's Sightings - Oct 10
> Warden's Sightings - Sept 10
> Warden's Sightings - June 10
> Warden's Sightings - May 10
> Warden's Sightings - April 10
> Warden's Sightings - March 10

> Warden's Sightings - Oct 09
> Warden's Sightings - Sept 09
> Warden's Sightings - Aug 09
> Warden's Sightings - June 09
> Warden's Sightings - May 09

> Warden's Sightings - Aug 08
> Warden's Sightings - Sept 08





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