Higher Hyde Heath Nature Reserve
Nestled within one of the best areas of the country to see all six native British reptiles, this is an internationally important heathland site, with wet, dry and humid heaths, a selection of peaty pools and ponds, mire and wet woodland.
Many of the rare heathland species can be found here. In addition to the reptile interest, including smooth snake and sand lizard, birds include the ground nesting nightjar, Dartford warbler, woodlark and tree pipit. Many interesting dragon and damselflies live in the wetter areas, whilst grayling and silver-studded blue butterflies can be found on the open heath. Flowers include typical heathland species, with common heather, bell heather and gorse throughout, with sundew, bog asphodel, sphagnum mosses and pale butterwort in the wetter heath.
4km north of Wool, access from Puddletown Road, between Bovington and Wareham. From the Wareham direction, the small car park is on the right (north side of the road) 50m or so after the right turning signposted East Dorset Golf Club and Hyde.
Access and safety
UNDER THE COUNTRYSIDE AND RIGHTS OF WAY ACT 2000 (CROW), DOGS SHOULD BE KEPT ON SHORT LEADS ON THIS SITE (OPEN ACCESS LAND) FROM 1ST MARCH TO 31ST JULY TO PROTECT GROUND NESTING BIRDS.
There is an information board at the car park entrance with a map of the site, and a surfaced path to a hide with viewing area overlooking a pond. This path continues around the pond from the hide and leads out over a stile onto the heath. A path also leads down into the wood before reaching the hide, this also follows out onto the open heath through a pedestrian gate. All unsurfaced paths may be wet and uneven in places. Although the site is Open Access please be aware that sensitive heathland species, including ground nesting birds, may occur throughout. The ground is generally rough and uneven away from the paths, and several ponds and wet areas are present on site.
Ponies are used to graze a large part of the site all year. Please keep your distance, and observe any signs. Adders and ticks are also present. Please see our Visitor Information page for more details.
Species and habitats
Wet, dry and humid heath, mire, carr woodland, scrub and open water.
All six native British reptiles, nightjar, Dartford warbler, woodlark, silver-studded blue, grayling, black bog ant, large marsh grasshopper, pale butterwort, early marsh orchid.
Nearby nature reserves
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