Parley Common is where the Smooth Snake was first discovered in 1852 in the British Isles.

It is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its internationally important Lowland Heath. This remnant piece was once part of a continuous swathe which flowed from the New Forest to the Isle of Purbeck.

Parley Common has also been the site of some other interesting firsts. It was here in the late nineteenth century that the now extinct Mazarine Blue butterfly was first discovered. The Large Bagworm and the Ringed Carpet moths were also first discovered here. But it was the discovery of the Speckled Footman moth in 1820 that really put Parley Common on the map.

Nearest Town Ferndown
Grid reference SZ 092 005
Habitats Dry, wet and humid Heath, mire and deciduous woodland and pine plantation
Size 145 hectares
Nearest bus stop Ringwood Road, Wilts and Dorset bus route
Nearest train station Poole (10 miles)
Look out for All six species of British reptile. Grass snakes are often found in the stream along with several species of dragonfly. Birds include Green Woodpeckers, Stonechats, Dartford Warblers, Nightjars, Buzzards and Kestrels. Butterflies include Silver-studded Blue, Marbled White, White Admiral, Grayling. Badgers and Roe Deer
Site designations

Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Area and Ramsar

Parking On the street
Accessibility Open Access area
Facilities Bench and good riverside bird watching
Owner The majority of Parley Common is owned by Canford Estate. A Glebe Strip is owned by the Diocese of Salisbury. Dorset Council owns the north-west part including the area of heath nearest The Centre at Trickett's Cross. There are also a few private individuals who own other small areas.
Managed by Most is managed by the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust. The Council's Countryside Service manages the land owned by Dorset Council. 
How to get there

From the north - Follow the A31 (Ringwood Road) towards Ferndown, take A348 towards Trickett's Cross / West Parley. Bear left (A348) at Sainsbury's roundabout, left at Trickett's Cross roundabout onto Turbary Road. Right at T-junction onto Lockyers Drive. Follow road then right at T-junction onto Barns Road. The entrance to Parley Common is beside the Heatherlands Community Centre.

From the south - Follow A348 (Ringwood Road) towards Ferndown. Turn right at Trickett's Cross roundabout onto Turbary Road. Right at T-junction onto Lockyers Drive. Follow road then right at T-junction onto Barns Road. The entrance to Parley Common is beside the Heatherlands Community Centre.

Countryside Officer - East Dorset

Name: Eastern Area Ranger Team
Email: b.wallbridge@dorsetcc.gov.uk
Tel: 01425 483809
Full contact details

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