A PICTURESQUE five-and-a-half acre nature reserve with stunning views over Lytchett Bay will go under the hammer later this month.

The guide price for the plot, accessed via Shore Lane, Upton, Poole, is just £20,000 – significantly lower than you’d expect for such a prime waterfront spot.

However, one major drawback for any potential property developer is that the protected land cannot actually be developed, as it is a special site of Nature Conservation Interest.

Estate agent Jan Merriott, who is handling the sale for Symonds and Sampson Commercial, believes if the area could be developed “you’d expect several more noughts on the asking price.”

He added that it is likely to be snapped up by someone wanting “their own little bit of England.”

Among those interested in attending the auction, at the Sherborne Hotel, on February 28, could be representatives of Dorset Wildlife Trust. (DWT) DWT’s director of operations Brian Bleese confirmed the conservation charity is looking into the possibility of buying the site.

“This is of potential interest and we are examining the options,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Merriott, explained: “Although this is a beautiful and strangely secluded spot considering where it is, it cannot be developed as it is a site of nature conservation interest and heathland.

“It is likely to be bought by those who simply want their own little bit of England (and quite a fine bit) whether they happen to be conservationists, artists or, indeed, those who have no particular reason other than they just can... and that is rather cool.”

The auction will take place on behalf of trustee John Samtani, and viewing is strictly by appointment only.

In the sales brochure the land is described as ‘open and unfenced and is a mixture of scrub and birch type trees, gorse, bracken and some reed and with plenty of cover for bird and other wildlife.

‘A pathway along the western side of the land is used by walkers’.