Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve


Purbeck Heaths NNR: A Landscape for Wildlife and People – YouTube

The Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve (PHNNR )– declared in 2020, is the beating heart of a healthy resilient landscape, with abundant wildlife brimming over and enriching Wild Purbeck. It spans 3,331 hectares including Studland, Corfe Castle, Arne and the heaths bordering Wareham.

Hundreds of thousands of people want to visit the Purbeck Heaths to camp, explore, share the delights of local food & drink, connect with nature and to just be on holiday.

How can we provide these experiences while managing the area for the future? What does ‘sustainable tourism’ mean?

Sustainable tourism is the cross-over of three components; social impacts (local communities, the culture and heritage of a place), environmental impacts (protecting and enhancing nature) and the economy (decent jobs and benefits for local communities).

Our vision

We’d like to see a future for the Purbeck Heaths where:

  • tourism has a positive effect on the environment, society and economy
  • tourism provides an enjoyable, educational and authentic experience that respects and meets the needs of both the local communities and visitors
  • the area (and tourism) is managed in a way that protects and enhances future opportunities and long-term viability of valuable resources e.g. NNR status, wildlife, habitats, archaeology and history of the area, locally produced food and drink.

To deliver this Sustainable Wareham are working with the PHNNR team in 5 areas:


  • finding ways to reduce waste from source
  • trying to ensure that public information about litter is clear and consistent

Low carbon & travel plan

  • finding ways to reduce our high dependency on cars
  • improving and encouraging active and sustainable travel options
  • creating a local carbon plan

Equity, Diversity & Economy

  • trying to create economic sustainability
  • helping connect local communities to their environment
  • ensuring that visitors from diverse backgrounds are welcome

Positive tourism impact on nature

  • identifying the negative ways tourism affects the environment
  • looking for the positive part tourism can play in improving biodiversity

Sustainable food & drink

  • creating a platform for showcasing locally produced, sustainable food & drink
  • building better relationships between producers, outlets, menus and consumers.

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