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).

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 between March 2023 – March 2025, 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 has returned in 2024 at a reduced service operating between Wareham train station – Stoborough – Ridge – Arne only. More information to follow on days/times.

Unfortunately the Swanage Railway mainline link up between Norden – Wareham will not be operating in 2024. The Swanage Railway will still operate its full service between Norden – Corfe – Swanage.


Purbeck Heaths

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