Sustainable Tourism

How to have a low impact visit to the Purbeck Heaths

Purbeck Heaths Credit: Middlebere Heath, Jon Bish reeds

The Purbeck heaths provide a fantastic opportunity for visitors to refresh and recharge in a beautiful setting, the chance to explore on foot, by bike or on the water.  They provide a space in which visitors can learn about and be inspired by nature.

However this brings its own challenges, for the wildlife of the heathlands, for local communities and for visitors alike.  Heathlands are inherently fragile landscapes, easily damaged by too much or the wrong kinds of visitor pressure.  The infrastructure of this rural location can also come under pressure from high visitor numbers concentrated in one location at one time of the year.  The Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve Partnership is working with local tourism businesses and local communities to ensure that visitors can continue to enjoy this fantastic landscape while protecting the wildlife of the Purbeck Heaths and benefiting the local community.

Active and sustainable travel is a big part of delivering the Purbeck Heaths sustainable tourism plan (which you can download from the ‘resources’ page).

NEW for 2023 – car free leaflet, Beryl bikes at Studland, 2RN shuttle bus to include Norden Farm & the Wareham – Norden mainline train link up!

March 2023 has seen the launch of the new car free days out leaflet for the Purbeck Heaths, along with a series of downloadable itineraries to help you plan your car free journey from start to finish. Our interactive map gives information on the bus, ferry and train options, along with walking and cycling routes. The Purbeck Community Rail Partnership has also released a fantastic video about how to have a car free journey to the area. Click here to view.

The National Trust is trialling an extension of the current Beryl bike hire scheme from Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch into Studland, enabling people to take Beryl bikes and Beryl e-bikes across to Studland and back again, giving visitors more options for car free days out. Beryl bays are available in the four National Trust car parks at Shell Bay, Knoll Beach, Middle Beach and South Beach car parks. Click here for more information and bike availability.

Seasonal travel options:

The 2RN shuttle bus returned for 2023 and included an additional pick up/drop off at Norden Farm Campsite. The service started in May and has been extended to the end of September, running on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays. Reduced entry for those arriving via the 2RN bus. Click here for the timetable and prices.

Swanage Railway trialled a new service in April – September 2023 (now closed) to link up to the Wareham mainline from Norden at Purbeck Park, allowing mainline train travel for the public down to Norden and Purbeck Park for the first time in decades. Services ran four times a day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – watch this space for information on a 2024 service.


Purbeck Heaths Credit:

Purbeck Heaths Promise

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