Nature conservation

Purbeck Heaths Credit: Middlebere Heath, Jon Bish reeds

Nature conservation projects

There are a number of projects taking place across this landscape for the benefit of the habitats, wildlife, nature and people. The number of projects will vary at any one time, depending on funding opportunities and priorities within the management of the landscape.

The Purbeck Beaver Project

Since 2019, proposals have been developing for a wild (unfenced) beaver release within the Purbeck Heaths NNR. Habitat modelling studies have shown there to be significant good habitat for beavers. We have been working with landowners and other stakeholders from within and beyond the NNR to better understand potential conflicts and design a management plan that works for everybody.

The Purbeck Beaver Project will begin in the Eastern half of the NNR, with Little Sea (Studland) the likeliest site for an initial reintroduction and other animals reintroduced in future years within the Rempstone Estate. We can’t introduce beavers until government policy on beavers is finalised, but we are hopeful of getting a licence in 2022 and are currently writing a detailed management plan.  As national policy evolves this year, a licence application and a detailed management plan will be produced. Stakeholder engagement will continue and be an ongoing part of this process. If successful, and depending on funding, a beaver reintroduction could will hopefully happen in late 2022 or early 2023.

This project is Supported by the Wytch Farm Landscape and Access Enhancement Fund




Purbeck Heaths Credit: Terry Bagley

Dynamic Dunescapes

Studland Dunes are one of nine dune landscape areas around the UK that have recently been awarded LIFE and NLHF funding. Over the next four years we will be working to reintroduce the dynamic processes on the dunes that much dune wildlife depends on. As well as reintroducing grazing animals to the peninsula for the first time since the 1930s, we will be exploring the role that recreational visitors can have through positive disturbance that both creates bare ground and links it up across the site. An ambitious outreach and engagement programme will make the dunes accessible to more people in more ways, and put people at the heart of dune conservation.

Purbeck Heaths Credit: Charlotte Brown – Studland