Surveying the natural landscape around the country one can only marvel at how beautiful mother nature can be and just how destructive man is in his pursuit of progress. We’ve visited many glorious naturist beaches in our five years of travel but we’ve yet to find a beach to rival the wonderful Studland beach in Dorset which is surrounded by picturesque rolling hills.
We stayed at a well secluded naturist campsite run by Reg and Hazel which has space for caravans and tents with electric hook-ups and is just outside Ringwood. Basic in nature but shower block is well appointed and showers run well and hot. No other facilities but this adds to the charm. About 30 minutes from Studland beach and about a 10 minute car trip to the nearest shops/pubs.
Seperate camping field at the rear of the site which was a bit soggy during our stay during one of the wettest August on record.We would recommend this site to those who want a peaceful. Hopefully we will return again in the near future.
All around Studland are sand dunes as well as woodland on the hill which houses a nature reserve. This area was subject to a study of the local wildlife during the 1930 and was recently featured on the BBC’s Countryfile programme which went into detail mentioning the man who undertook it. Captain Cyril Diver carried out a study here in the 1930s, leaving behind a detailed archive of maps, field notes, records and photographs, as well as a plant and insect collection.
It was a ground breaking ecological study of the wildlife on the Studland peninsular. His work was one of the earliest whole eco-system accounts, positioning Diver as a leading ecologist of his time. Diver’s work painted a picture of the delicate balance of life that thrives on the Studland Peninsular, which is home to over 250 rare and threatened species.
The collection includes maps, pictures, notes from Diver’s work, photographs, a herbarium and insect collection and a draft of Diver’s manuscript. Sadly, due to the outbreak of WWII Diver never got the chance to publish his work, but this is now available view at Dorset History Centre (reference: D-DVR).The collection was catalogued by volunteers working with the National Trust, who are repeating Diver’s work on the Studland Peninsular. During this current survey they will use the archives to look at how the eco-system has changed over the past 80 years and monitor rare species that thrive in the sand dunes.
The project brought together volunteers and professional ecologists to build up a similarly comprehensive picture and, by comparing today’s data with Diver’s, discover just how much Studland had changed in just a few generations.
Key changes noted recently were:
• Saltmarsh along the shore of Poole Harbour has reduced dramatically. The reasons are unclear but this may be a result of cyclical dieback of cord-grass, changes to dredging and other harbour activity, or climate change.
• The woodlands occupy a similar area but have become much more closed and dark, while browsing deer have affected their structure and diversity. Woodland butterfly numbers have gone down dramatically as a result.
• In the dunes, the heather is taller, there is less bare ground and richer soils have developed. Gorse, pine and birch have invaded many areas while the movement of sand means the peninsula is now 100m wider at its northern end than it was in 1930.
• The wetlands are wetter, and richer in vegetation. Fresh water plants have increased at the expense of salt-tolerant rivals, but non-native species including carp, sika deer and New Zealand pigmyweed have taken their toll on the fragile ecosystem.
• The heaths have changed less than other areas, probably as a result of the way they have been managed, though purple moor grass has become much more dominant in wetter spots.