FIRE crews battled a huge heath fire last night in Studland.

Dozens of firefighters were called to an area of heath around 8.30pm.

The fire service initially said this was Godlingston Heath, which is part of the UK's first 'super' nature reserve.

One fire crew was expected to remain on scene overnight after the blaze had been brought under control. 

A spokesperson for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed around 11.30pm that they were called shortly before 8.30pm on Tuesday evening to a fire in Gladston Heath in Studland.

Crews from Swanage (two), Westbourne, Poole, Christchurch, Hamworthy and Wimborne along with Land Rover pumps from Swanage, Poole, Hamworthy and Bere Regis, the Unimog from Wareham and a water carrier also from Poole are currently in attendance.

After battling the blaze throughout the evening, the stop message came at 11.06pm.

A DW Fire spokesperson said: “A large heath fire consisting of several hundred metres although the exact dimensions are unknown.

“The fire was extinguished using four hose reel jets from Land Rover pumps and four hose reel jets from man appliances.

“A number of hot spots remain across the fireground but the incident is being scaled down shortly with one Land Rover pump to remain in attendance to monitor overnight.”

The orange flames could be seen from Southbourne, as the fire service urged people to avoid the area.

The site makes up part of Purbeck's super nature reserve - which was the first in the UK to be formed.

It is understood to be one of only 35 'spotlight' reserves designated by Natural England, and is home to endangered species including the sand lizard and smooth snake.