Durlston Country Park

Durlston Country Park
The Globe
The lighthouse at Anvil Point

Durlston Country Park is a 1.13 square kilometre (280-acre) country park and nature reserve stretching along the coast of the Isle of Purbeck near Swanage in Dorset, England. The Park, which is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, has been owned by Dorset County Council since the early 1970s and is mostly open access.

The Lighthouse is at Anvil Point is built of local stone and was completed in 1881.


Wildlife and habitat

The Park has a mosaic of habitats, hosting a wide range of species. Habitats include sea-cliffs, downs, ancient meadows, hedgerows, woodland, and dry-stone walls – each with their characteristic plants and animals. These include 33 species of breeding butterfly, over 250 species of bird recorded, 500 wildflowers, 500 moths and thousands of other invertebrates.

The underlying rock is limestone so the majority of the park is calcareous grassland, probably created about 1000 years ago by clearing of oak forest, hosting a range of wild flower species and associated animals such as butterflies.


In the 19th and 20th centuries Purbeck was quarried for its high-quality limestone. There were few open-cast quarries, and none in Durlston, but there are many mine shafts across the landscape, notably Tilly Whim Caves in a dry glacial meltwater valley.

In 1887 George Burt built a small 'castle' at Durlston Head, on the hill above Durlston Bay and the town of Swanage. The Durlston Castle was never a real castle, but was purpose-built to be used as a restaurant for his Durlston estate. Burt also commissioned a 40-ton limestone Globe, three metres in diameter, engraved with an 1880s world map. The footpaths around the Castle and Globe are lined with cast iron London bollards which were left in Swanage having been used as ballast by the ships transporting stone to London. Other ornaments include plaques carved with quotations from Shakespeare and the Bible, maps showing the English Channel and the United Kingdom, and facts about the natural world.


Visitor facilities at Durlston include a Visitor Centre, the Lookout cafe, walking trails, public toilets and car parking.

Awards and designations

Most of the Park is designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and since 1997, a Special Area of Conservation. The majority is also designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance. In 1997 the Dorset and East Devon Coast was awarded World Heritage Site status for its geological importance. Durlston forms part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Purbeck Heritage Coast (which holds a Council of Europe Diploma for its management). In June 2008, Durlston was awarded National Nature Reserve status by Natural England in recognition of the national importance of Durlston for wildlife.

Durlston was awarded the Green Flag Award in 2008 for the third consecutive year, in recognition of the quality of its amenities for visitors.

External links

Coordinates: 50°35′42″N 1°57′10″W / 50.5951°N 1.9528°W / 50.5951; -1.9528

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Durlston Country Park — The Globe Der Leuchtturm auf Anvil Poin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Durlston Castle — in 2007 Durlston Castle stands within Durlston Country Park, a 1.13 square kilometre (280 acre) country park and nature reserve stretching along the coastline south of Swanage, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset …   Wikipedia

  • Durlston Castle — Das Durlston Castle wurde auf dem Hügel Durlston Head oberhalb Durlston Bay innerhalb des Durlston Country Parks errichtet. Der Durlston Country Park liegt südlich von Swanage auf der Isle of Purbeck, in der Grafschaft Dorset an der Südküste von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Durlston Bay — 50.6006185 1.9468117 Koordinaten: 50° 36′ 2″ N, 1° 56′ 49″ W …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Durlston — Coordinates: 50°35′57″N 1°57′29″W / 50.5993°N 1.9580°W / 50.5993; 1.9580 Durlston is an area of Swanage …   Wikipedia

  • Durlston Bay — from Durlston Head Durlston Bay (also known as Durdlestone Bay)[1] is a small bay next to a country park of the same name, just south of the resort of Swanage, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, Engl …   Wikipedia

  • Swanage — Town Hall …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Isle of Purbeck — Fishermans ledge in Purbeck Gewässer Ärmelkanal …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Swanage — Infobox UK place official name= Swanage country= England region= South West England shire county= Dorset shire district= Purbeck constituency westminster= South Dorset population= 10,124 (2001) os grid reference= SZ0278 latitude= 50.61 longitude …   Wikipedia

  • George Burt (Britain) — George Burt (2 October 1816 18 April 1894) was a public works contractor from Swanage, England who managed the construction company founded by his uncle John Mowlem. Burt s father was a stone merchant, and his mother was the sister in law of John …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.