Welcome to BARI – Poole Harbour’s Bird and Recreation Initiative.

BARI’s mission is to promote wildlife friendly recreation in Poole Harbour.

Many birds species make epic winter migrations from countries like Arctic Siberia and Greenland all the way to Poole Harbour due to its extensive mudflats and the food source they provide, but increased recreation within the harbour threatens these habitats and their survival.

The BARI team works with the recreation communities including; water sports, dog owners and bait diggers, alongside conservation organisations and land managers to promote a more wildlife friendly recreation culture within Poole Harbour.


Watch the videos below to find out more about who we are and what we do, and if you have any questions, we would love to hear from you.


BARI Project overview

Engaging communities & raising awareness

BARI and Dorset Dogs working together

SPA Classification

Poole Harbour is designated as a SPA, SSSI and Ramsar wetlands of international importance.

The harbour spans across more than 2000 hectares of intertidal mudflats, salt marsh and reedbeds, all essential habitats for wildlife.

It was classified as a Special Protection Area (SPA) in 1999 due to the sheer numbers of protected bird species that winter in the harbour, with over 20,000 birds returning home each year.

The site was designated under the EU Birds Directive in particular, for the internationally important populations of regularly occurring bird species and migratory species (12 migratory and 2 breeding).

These birds are on the EU Directive list:

SPA Classifications

Common shelduck (non-breeding)

Pied avocet (non-breeding)

Black-tailed godwit (non-breeding)

Bar tailed godwit (non-breeding)

Little egret (non-breeding)

Eurasian spoonbill (non-breeding)

Dunlin (non-breeding)

Redshank (non-breeding)

Brent goose (non-breeding)

Curlew (non-breeding)

Wigeon (non-breeding)

Oystercatcher (non-breeding) NOT Annex 1

Mediterranean gull (breeding)

Common tern (breeding)

SPA Classifications

BARI was established in 2021, is hosted by the Urban Heaths Partnership on behalf of BCP and Dorset Councils, and is advised by Natural England

Follow BARI

BARI - Contact Us

For project information contact Ria Loveridge using the form below.

Handouts, Activity Packs & Posters