Discover exciting wildlife in this fascinating reserve with a prehistoric past. The pine forest, heathland, cliffs and sea grass beds provide homes for plentiful wildlife. Buildings remain from the site's former use as a naval training base, are evident among the trees and are now used as an Education Centre.
Wander along the forest tracks between the pine trees to look and listen for unusual birds such as crossbill, goldcrest and raven. You may glimpse the iconic red squirrel leaping from branch to branch. With no introduced grey squirrels on the Island, their smaller cousin thrives here. In spring along the coast path, discover heathland rarities that brighten the restored clay heaths, such as pale dogviolet, heath dog-violet and cyperus sedge. By summer bell heather is in its full glory. Look out for the strange parasitic dodder – it has no leaves, only pink thread-like stems and dense heads of white and pink flowers. Down on the beach, small fossils can be found among the pebbles. Out across the busy Solent, as the boats pass by, take in the stunning views of the New Forest coast.