East Stoke Fen
Know before you go
Parking informationLimited roadside parking by start of footpath.
Short linear walk from entrance through oak woodland to a second stile and rejoin public footpath - follow on to East Stoke or return towards Wool.
Limited access for those with poor mobility. Although fairly flat, the approach and ground within the reserve may be uneven and wet. Access to the reserve is over stiles.
Follow the footpath signs from the road over the field to reach the edge of the reserve and enter via a stile. Much of the site is wet throughout the year and visitors are advised to keep to the drier woodland. Please be aware of the presence of ticks on site and take appropriate measures to prevent any bites. There may be a chance of falling branches in the woodland in or following strong winds.
For more information on visiting DWT Nature Reserves, including more on general countryside hazards such as ticks, please see our Visitor Information page.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitSpring & Autumn
About the reserve
Small but perfectly formed, this reserve has everything from endangered reed fen to oak copse and wet woodland.
This is a great reserve for spotting bluebells in the spring and dragonflies in the summer.
East Stoke Fen is a fascinating wetland habitat fringed by bluebell woodland, within the flood plain of the River Frome, close to Wool in the Purbecks.
Despite its small size the site is very important because of its reed fen. This habitat is rare and declining in Dorset. It is hugely important because it can provide a lot of information of the history of vegetation and changes in the area – this is due to pollen sequences being perfectly preserved in the peat formations it sits on.
Amongst the common reeds you might catch a glimpse of a reed warbler, water rail or even reed bunting.
Reed fen is also proving to be particularly interesting for the micro fauna it supports - with ongoing research being undertaken by the Freshwater Biological Association, which has resulted in the discovery of two species new to science.
From Wool, head east on Bindon Lane passing Bindon Farm on the bend as you head out of the village. Access to the reserve is about a mile along the road via a public footpath to the left.