The differing geology of the coastline gives rise to a significant diversity of habitats including;
- the limestone cliffs of the Purbecks, home to Puffins and orchids particularly at Townsend Quarry
- the shingle bank of the Chesil Beach where sea pea, sea kale and the yellow-horned poppy can be found
- the undercliffs at White Nothe, Lyme and elsewhere which have their own distinctive flora and are good places to spot roe deer
- the sand dunes at Studland with their own particular plants and distinctive insects
- the wetland sites, such as Little Sea on Studland Heath and the Fleet which are excellent for their abundance of birds.
Offshore there is much to see, particularly at the marine reserve at Kimmeridge with its abundance of marine life, easy to see from the rock ledges which extend out into the bay at low tide.