Holes Bay Nature Park
Internationally important area of Poole Harbour managed by Poole Harbour Commissioners and Borough of Poole; part of The Great Heath Living Landscape.
One of the best places to see the wildlife of Poole Harbour. The saltmarsh and intertidal mudflats are a haven for wetland birds, many of which feed on the rich invertebrate life of Poole Harbour's mud. This food also attracts many fish species and the bay is a nursery for several fish species. The whole of Holes Bay is part of the Poole Harbour Special Protection Area due to its use by internationally significant numbers of feeding and roosting birds.
The Holes Bay Nature Park stretches from Asda (opposite Poole Railway Station) to Upton Country Park BH17 7BJ and Hamworthy. At the southern (Asda) end, Poole Railway Station is a short 50 metre walk via subway and Poole Bus Station is a 10 minute walk. At the western end Hamworthy Railway Station is a 1 mile walk via Upton Country Park. There are bus stops at Asda/Rail Station: bus No. 3 to/from Wimborne and bus 40 to/from Swanage; Upton Country Park car park: bus No. 128 to/from Poole (3 times day); on Poole Road: buses No. 8 and 9 to/from Poole and bus No. 40 to/from Swanage.
Access and safety
Access is available with cycles or on foot path along the shoreline from Asda to Upton Country Park, (restricted cycle access within the Park). Explore this sensitive area with green travel - 4 miles of cycle routes and 6 miles of easy to moderate terrain shoreline walking routes, 1km of bridleways that can also be cycled or walked and links to Poole Heritage Cycle Trail, National Cycleway 25 and The Castleman Trailway. The water, mudflats and wet rocks are dangerous and should not be accessed!
Species and habitats
Coastal saltmarsh, intertidal mudflats, Atlantic and Mediterranean salt meadows, shallow inland waters, woodland and grassland.
black-tailed godwit, little egret, redshank, kingfisher, oystercatcher, curlew, avocet, teal, wigeon, red-breasted merganser, spoonbill; bass, mullet, flounder, corkwing wrasse, gobies, native oysters, peacock worms, nationally rare sea sponge; a refuge for clams and cockles; more than 80 species of marine invertebrates including king ragworm; woodland ground flora, saltmarsh plants and grassland with orchids.
Northern Holes Bay is a bird sensitive area. Please avoid activities that could cause disturbance here from November to March.
More about Poole Harbour Marine Habitats and Wildlife here
More about birds at birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk
Nearby Great Heath sites
Nature Park map
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