Brownsea Island is a nature reserve situated in Poole Harbour, Dorset. Now managed by the National Trust the reserve can be reached by boat from the Sandbanks side of the Studland Ferry Jetty. It is a fantastic wildlife haven and is a great place for sightings of the lesser spotted red squirrel.
There is a circular walk around the island that can be easily accomplished on a day trip. Signposted paths lead to the many beauty spots on the island. Look out for goldcrests in the Scots pine trees, it’s Europe’s smallest native bird. Other birds that can be spotted on Brownsea are avocets, peregrines, terns, gulls, coots, kingfishers, little egrets, and oystercatchers. Once a year there is a round-the-island swim organised by RLSS Poole Lifeguards which is 4.5 miles long in distance.
Facilities can be found at Brownsea Castle that include a shop, public toilets and a café. There is an island wide dog ban because of its a nature reserve, however there are many dog friendly alternatives throughout the Isle of Purbeck.
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