Information for families in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Canford Heath Nature Reserve

Canford Heath Nature Reserve logo

Canford Heath is an 850 acre site and is one of the largest remaining areas of heathland in Dorset. The heath is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and is protected under UK law. Careful management of the heath is needed to stop other plant life blocking out the heather which the local wildlife relies on.

Canford Heath offers a real feeling of wilderness and you can easily spend 2 hours walking or cycling around the paths.

Types of habitat

  • broad-leaf woodland
  • dry and wet heath
  • valley mire and bog

What to see

The heath is home to all British reptile species as well as:

  • dragonflies
  • damselflies
  • the Dartford warbler
  • the Nightjar


There is limited parking on roads near this reserve.


Your dog must be on a short lead during bird breeding: 1 March to 31 July every year, and when livestock is near. Remember to keep your dog under close control and to pick up after it.

View all details
Venue/Contact Details
Canford Heath
BH21 3BW
Area coverage
BCP Area
See Journey Planner on right hand side of this page, where you can view bus, car and train routes from your location.
  • Car Parking
Times and Costs
Opening times:
The park is an open facility
Further opening details:
  • Evening
  • Afternoon
  • Morning
  • Daily
  • All Year Round
Ages, Booking Details and Referral Information
Booking Information:
Booking is not required.