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.
- 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 from only £18
Our nature reserve on Brownsea Island has been kindly supported by Barclays