Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff

Our clifftop reserve is home to some amazing wildlife and is wheelchair accessible too

This clifftop local nature reserve includes grassland and the cliffs themselves. Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest and provides stunning views across the bay to Old Harry Rocks and the Purbeck Hills.

This reserve is a long and narrow strip of grassy scrub that is home to several rare species of plants and animals. The birds you can see here include Dartford warblers, stonechats, greenfinches and kestrels. 

It’s also home to two exotic species of reptile, the wall lizard and green lizard which you can see on warm days basking in the sun on the walls of the zig-zag path at Portman Ravine.

If you’re interested in insects then keep an eye out for the beewolf which hunt bees and carries them off to its underground lair. In the warmer weather you can spot lovely butterflies, including the common blue, painted lady and clouded yellow.

Visitor information

A little further down towards Boscombe Pier you might even spot some of our British feral goats that help us by grazing on the scrub at Honeycomb Chine. 

There are occasional guided walks throughout the year.  Use our map to find out where Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff and our other parks and nature reserves are.

There are hard surfaced paths all along the reserve so it’s suitable for wheelchairs too.