The 13 acre reserve at Alder Hills is a relic of a continuous heathland that stretched from Christchurch to Dorchester. Using stone axes, Stone Age people began clearing the dense wild wood of oak and elm for farming and settlement. The exposed soils were sandy, light and deprived of nutrients creating poor growing conditions and eventually heather and gorse became established and created the heathland which persists until the present day.
In 1984 Alder Hills, by then a heathland with a pond rich with wildlife, was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest by the Nature Conservancy Council. Alder Hills is now managed by the Dorset Trust for Nature Conservation and is particularly noted for its reptile and dragonfly populations. The patient visitor will soon find plenty of wildlife to enjoy - please tell us if you do!
Ease of access for people with disabilities:
We encourage the use of all our facilities by everyone. Please let us know if you have any suggestions on how we could improve this facility for you.