Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre
At the heart of Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve is the Conservation Centre – a converted barn that has been welcoming visitors, volunteers and educational groups to the reserve since 2004.
Drop in to the Conservation Centre for a reviving hot drink, or soothing cold drink, we have fairtrade, organic tea and coffee, plus cold fruity drinks and locally made sweet treats. Relax and watch the live cameras for glimpses of feeding birds in the winter and nesting birds (kestrel, barn owl & great tit) in the spring & summer, or buy one of our wildlife guides so you can spot nature on your own patch.
The picnic area and outdoor classroom are the perfect places for lunch whatever the weather (please take all your rubbish home). Children can have fun on our wildlife inspired play area and there’s plenty of information to help you explore the reserve in the outdoor classroom. There is a carpark, bike racks and disabled parking bay adjacent to the centre and within are toilets (including disabled facilities and a baby changing table).
For information about the reserve, including maps, nature trails, access, species and habitats, please see the Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve page.
Conservation Centre opening times
April to September:
October to March:
Family Events Programme
Join us for Caterpillar Kids family activities on selected weekends and during the school holidays, explore the reserve on a guided walk, or borrow a ‘Discoverer’s Backpack’ – there really is something for everyone! All activities are themed around Lorton’s wildlife – for more information, see our events pages.
Whether it's searching for minibeasts, pond dipping, identifying trees, or getting stuck into a practical task, we have a range of learning opportunities for Key Stage 1- 4, that can be tailored to suit individual groups. Download our education opportunities leaflet and contact us to discuss your requirements. For A Level or Higher Education groups please contact us on 01305 816546.
Help make a difference to your local wildlife by volunteering: you could assist us in the Centre, welcoming visitors, help with our events programme or join us for Volunteer Conservation Tasks and surveying the reserve. Please contact us on 01305 816546 to discover more.
Come and wander around the home of the Lorton Meadows Kestrels and owls, as seen on our webcams.
From the B3159 (Dorchester Road), turn into Lorton Lane and continue to the end of the lane, approximately half a mile, where you will reach the Conservation Centre & carpark.
Cycle path access from Dorchester, Weymouth or Upwey Station with cycle racks available at the centre.
The map below shows the entrance to Lorton Lane from the B3159 (Dorchester Road), Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre and car park (please be aware of pedestrians and cyclists on Lorton Lane). The cycle path from Dorchester to Weymouth alongside the A354 joins Lorton Lane at the bridge over the A road. There are pedestrian access points: along Lorton Lane, from Littlemoor (Louviers Road) and the Park & Ride - find out more about this here.
Access and safety
Nearby nature reserves
Nature reserve map
Contains derived data © Crown copyright and database right 2012.Ordnance Survey LA100019790
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