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Hengistbury Head Local Nature Reserve is owned and managed by Bournemouth Borough Council. The area is acclaimed for its diversity of wildlife and geology and is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.The land was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 1990, as a commitment by the town of Bournemouth to conserving and enhancing the environment.

The heathland forms part of the Dorset Heaths and is internationally protected as a Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area. Much of the upper reaches of Christchurch Harbour including the meadows at Wick are designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area.People have visited and settled here on several occasions during the past 12500 years and today the area is recognised as a site of international importance, and is scheduled as an Ancient Monument.The popularity of the headland (approximately 1 million visitors a year) has resulted in serious damage from overuse.

The management required to safeguard the nature reserve for the future has been carefully planned (see the Hengistbury Head Management Plan). The Countryside Officers (Rangers) carry out the programme of work and uphold the Local Nature Reserve Byelaws. There are colour booklets and nature trails available for the public and schools.

Hengistbury Head News