Stour Valley Local Nature Reserve

A green oasis on the north-west of Bournemouth

Site Details



Butterfly species include

There are not real rarities here, but a good place to see a range of species, including:

  • Essex Skipper - possibly
  • Large and Small Skipper
  • Large, Small and Green-veined White
  • Orange Tip - best site in East Dorset
  • Red Admiral
  • Small Tortoiseshell
  • Peacock
  • Comma - best site in East Dorset
  • Speckled Wood
  • Gatekeeper
  • Meadow Brown
Speckled Wood
Moth species -  
Other species


  • Kingfisher
  • Reed Warbler
  • Greater Spotted Woodpecker


  • Dragonflies, including the very rare
    Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva)
  • Otters
  • Grass snakes
Habitat type/features

Two miles of riverside footpath, as well as meadows, hedgerows and woodland.


The following instructions are taken from Bournemouth Borough's website and the grid references added by looking at a map, so please treat them as approximate.

  • The site is situated on the northern edge of Bournemouth, and can be accessed from a number of points.
  • There is a free car park in Granby Road, just off Muscliffe Lane.
    Grid Ref SZ 096/958
  • There is also a small car park at the end of Brecon Close, off New Road.
    Grid Ref SZ 081/967
  • There is also access from the service road off Northbourne roundabout, that leads to Cherry Tree Nursery and the sewage treatment works.
    Grid Ref SZ 083/964
  • The ‘Wheels Along The Stour’ project means that there is now wheelchair access along the river for a major stretch of the reserve, from Granby Road all the way up to Brecon Close.
Owned by

Bournemouth Borough Council