Why we need your help

Dorset’s fabulous landscapes and wildlife are under constant threat from development and arguably Dorset Wildlife Trust’s most important work is in defending nature against damaging planning proposals.  We urgently need your support to protect wildlife across Dorset, by helping to fund this crucial work and prevent further nature losses.

We need to raise £60,000 as soon as possible to ensure we can continue with our crucial planning work, defending Dorset’s wildlife against poor planning proposals and working with developers from an early stage to get the best outcome for nature.

We hope to secure grant funding for some of this work, but we need additional support in donations through this appeal. We will use your donation as match funding for grants, so we expect for every pound you give us we will raise considerably more.

Your donation can make a real difference

  • £20 when used as match funding will release up to £200 in grant funding.
  • £75 will enable us to check the details of a planning application against wildlife impacts
  • £150 could pay for a planning site meeting to secure changes to a development proposal to protect wildlife.
  • £250 could pay for a full botanical survey of a site.
  • £1000 will enable us to run a training conference for local authority planners.

Please give as much as you can afford. 100% of your donation will be put towards this appeal.

A donation receipt will be sent to you by email once your donation has been processed.

If you'd prefer to donate using your mobile phone, just text: PLAN15 £5 to 70070.

Thank you!

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What I'm doing

On the 6th of October, after months of training, I will be running my first Marathon at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival.

Who I'm running for

I'm running in aid of Dorset Wildlife Trust.

What better place to raise money for Dorset's wildlife than running next to our fantastic Bournemouth and Poole Bay!

Please sponsor me

I'm training really hard at the moment and every bit helps! Thank you!

John Wright, who was Chairman of the Isle of Purbeck Group of Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT), died in September 2014.  John loved wildlife.

He worked as a biologist at the River Lab on the Frome for many years. He led a group which developed a methodology for measuring river water quality that is used around the world.

John was a volunteer warden for our former Trigon nature reserve until the early 1990s when the reserve was handed back to the landowner.  John then chaired a ‘local reserve committee’ to care for Coombe Heath in 1993.  When LRCs gradually disbanded, John maintained an interest in Coombe Heath until the lease ended in 2013.

In retirement he did monthly surveys of species on a number of the Trusts’s reserves.  At one stage he was monitoring birds, plants, and insects on Higher Hyde, Winfrith, Tadnoll, Kilwood, and Stonehill.  What amazing dedication!.  John became a real fount of information on the local flora and fauna, and the value of his records will extend to future generations.

John often led walks in summer on the reserves which were enjoyed by many of us. And he also contributed items for the Trust’s website, as well as giving a number of talks for the DWT Langton meetings as well as for other clubs in the area which drew on his wide collection of pictures taken while out.

John was a true gentleman in the very best sense of the word. He was a meticulous person and enjoyed his recording activities.

And in his memory we are raising funds for DWT monitoring and recording projects.

P-BADGER DORSET LK ITV2000 Vimeo from ITV Westcountry on Vimeo.

Supporting The Great Heath

Thank you to our many generous supporters for your donations and tremendous fundraising efforts. We have so far raised £2.0 million through partners and fundraising and secured £2.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, enabling us to purchase the Canford Estate sites and to kick start the Great Heath project.  

Now we still need to raise further funds to complete the job we have started.  Every penny raised means more for conservation in The Great Heath, whether it is for equipment to do practical habitat management, resources for a public event or additional interpretation and signs to help people understand our fantastic natural heritage.

Thank you!



Despite first appearances, seahorses are fish. Like their relatives, the pipefish, they have jaws fused into a narrow tube and use bellow-like cheeks to suck in small prey. 

It is thought that seahorses first evolved their upright posture as an adaptation to living in seagrass meadows, taking advantage of the vertical stems for shelter and camouflage. 

Of the two species found in the UK, the spiny seahorse is the one most associated with seagrass and most likely to be found at Studland. 

Seahorses at Studland

Though seahorses are much in the news lately, they are not recent arrivals - local residents report finding seahorses at Studland decades ago.  The first confirmed evidence of seahorses breeding at Studland (a pregnant male spiny seahorse) came in 2004 - there have been many more sightings since, including a pregnant short-snouted seahorse. 

Anecdotally, there do seem to be more seahorses generally about over the last few years - there are certainly more reports.  At Studland, that could simply be a reflection of the increased amount of effort looking for them.

More Information

Click for more information about seahorses




Spiny Seahorse by Peter Tinsley

Spiny Seahorse by Peter Tinsley

Online membership

DescriptionPriceAdd Gift Aid (please tick)Qty
Single Membership£36.00
Joint Membership£42.00
Family Membership*£48.00

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Spirit of Portland 2014 Leaflet 6pp A5 Final
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flyer for 2014 event

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Festival Programme Festival Map

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Godlingston walk meeting point map
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Become a member before 31 October and receive a free owl ID guide

This month, DWT is celebrating the Tawny Owl as our chosen ‘Species of the month’.

To celebrate this fantastic bird, we’re including a free owl ID guide in our welcome pack, available to all new members who join before the end of the month.

All members receive our welcome pack, which also includes:

  • Our latest Dorset Wildlife magazine
  • Full guide to all 42 of our nature reserves
  • Events guide
  • Car sticker

Click the button below to find out more...

Please Join Now


What are the benefits of membership?

  • 3 issues of our magazine, Dorset Wildlife, which will tell you about the county's wildlife, how we are working to protect it, and how you can get involved.
  • 3 issues each year of the national magazine of The Wildlife Trusts, Natural World, which covers wildlife conservation across the UK.
  • 3 issues of our events guide - packed with details of forthcoming events such as walks, talks, Wildlife Watch activities and volunteer work parties.
  • Free access to all DWT nature reserves and an annual membership card.
  • The opportunity to take part in wildlife events for members and to join your Local Group.

Other types of membership

To find out about memberships for children (£17 pa), students (£21 pa) and life membership (from £550 pa), please call our Membership Team on 01305 264620.

Owl Membership Pack

Special Membership Pack with FREE Owl ID Guide

Family membership pack

Special Family Membership Pack with FREE Owl ID Guide


    Privacy & Cookies

    Our Privacy Policy

    What this privacy policy covers

    In accordance with the Data Protection Act, this policy gives you information about how Dorset Wildlife Trust treats personal information received from our website visitors.

    What is personal information?

    Personal information is defined as information about you that is personally identifiable such as your title, name, address, email address and phone number.

    Information collection and use

    We collect visitor information in the following section of the Dorset Wildlife Trust website:

    • Join us - If you join online your details will be stored so that your subscription can be renewed and so that we may contact you.
    • Online newsletters - your details will be stored for as long as you subscribe to any of our e-newsletters.
    • Online enquiry forms, including our volunteering enquiry form.
    • Online shop

    Please note ­ where ever we collect personal information it will be processed fairly and lawfully. We respect your privacy and will not rent, sell or share personal information about you with other people or non-affiliated companies.

    Accessing your data

    You have the right to request a copy of the personal information we hold about you. Please note that, in accordance with the Data Protection Act, a £10 admin fee is applicable. For further information, please contact us via email on mail@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk or telephone 1305 264620.

    Changes to the privacy policy

    We may update this policy from time to time. Please check this page regularly for notification of any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information.

    This website is operated by Dorset Wildlife Trust, Brooklands Farm, Forston, Dorchester. DT2 7AA. Reg charity: 200222


    Dorset Wildlife Trust website uses cookies to collect information about how the site is used by its visitors. Cookies provide non-personal statistical information about visits to pages on the site, which may include the duration of individual page views, paths taken by visitors through the site, and other general information. None of this information is associated with you as an individual.

    The Dorset Wildlife Trust website cookie

    The Dorset Wildlife Trust website uses a ‘session cookie’ to identify your browser ‘session’ as you move between pages on the website and perform activities. The cookie is named c2dorsetwildlifetrust_dor4676jhf3 and will last for 3 months.

    The website cookie allows our website to recognise each subsequent request from your browser as being the same browser that made the initial request to our website.

    By knowing that each subsequent request is related to the first, our website is able to track your actions as you move around the website and to provide interactive features. By analysing how our website is being used in general, we can improve the website experience for future visitors. Should you experience any problems in using our website, our website developers may be able to use this information to track down your specific user-journey and investigate and fix any issues that might arise.

    The cookie itself is a very small text file that is stored on your device (for example, your PC or your phone) by your web browser. It contains a simple text code that your browser sends back to our website each time you browse to a new page. This allows the website to look up your specific session and associate data for that session with your browser. The data itself is not stored in your cookie but on the server(s) operating the website.

    Each page on our website is generated by a sophisticated Content Management System (CMS). This system provides a number of interactive features where your experience may be tailored according to your past activity on the website. Such features require the ‘session cookie’ to operate.

    The session cookie provides the ability for you to log on to our website using your unique user name (or e-mail address) and password.

    The session cookie provides the means for you to take part in votes (or polls) on the website.

    The session cookie provides the means to remember the products you have selected for purchase, to identify which stage you are at in the checkout process in our online shop, to associate the personal information you have entered with your order(s) and your last selected delivery address.

    The session cookie provides the means to remember whether you have ‘liked’ our Facebook page.

    As we improve our website over time, similar and more advanced features may be added that also require a ‘session cookie’ to operate.

    Google Analytics

    The Dorset Wildlife Trust website uses cookies to allow Google Analytics to function correctly. Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that helps us understand how visitors engage with the Dorset Wildlife Trust website. These cookies have names that begin with __utm such as __utma and __utmz.

    Google Analytics collects information anonymously; it reports website trends without identifying individual visitors. The cookies store information such as the number of visits to the website and what site referred the visitor to the web page. We use the information to view reports about how visitors interact with the website and to help us improve the website. A different set of cookies is used for each website, and visitors are not tracked across multiple sites.

    Information about these cookies and how to reject or delete them: http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/analytics/privacyoverview.html and http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/ads/#toc-analytics

    To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout
    Google’s privacy policy: http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html

    How to control and delete cookies

    You may restrict or block the cookies which are set by the Dorset Wildlife Trust website, or any other website, by referring to the ‘Help’ option on the menu bar of your browser. This will tell you how to prevent your browser from accepting new cookies; notify you when you receive new cookies; and disable cookies altogether.

    You can also find out more about cookies, and how to manage them, by visiting www.aboutcookies.org.

    Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of the Dorset Wildlife Trust website.

    Local Shared Objects (Flash Cookies)

    The Dorset Wildlife Trust website uses Adobe Flash Player to provide video content. Local Shared Objects (commonly known as Flash Cookies) may be used to improve user experience, for example to save your playback preferences. Flash Cookies are similar to cookies, however they are managed differently.

    How to disable Flash Cookies:

    Information on how to disable and delete Flash Cookies is provided on the Adobe website at http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/security

    Your experience of the Dorset Wildlife Trust website may be affected if you restrict the use of Flash Cookies.


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