Know before you go
Parking informationParking pull in off Merley Park Road
Grazing animalsGrazing animals on some of the site
This idyllic valley can be discovered by following a new path and boardwalk from Merley Park Road to the old railway line.
There is a variety of access, public rights of way and marked trails with some kissing gates, slopes and board walks. Moderate terrain.
RADAR large mobility kissing gate at parking pull-in.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitSummer is best for flowers and insects, Spring for birdsong, Autumn and Winter for migrant and winter visiting birds.
About the reserve
Happy Bottom Nature Reserve is part of the Corfe Barrows Nature Park partnership of landowners who have come together to create a special place for local communities and visitors to explore and enjoy the local countryside, its history and its wonderful wildlife.
Happy Bottom Nature Reserve includes the stream valley that flows through the nature reserve towards the River Stour to the north
Near the centre of the nature reserve is what is left of Cottage Farm. The restored milking parlour is almost all that remains. The farm used to support a small dairy herd and the cows grazed the adjoining meadows before the days of fertilizers and pesticides. We are traditionally managing the pastures with grazing animals for the benefit of biodiversity.