New ‘Fly-through’ Camera Maps Wildlife Habitats on Portland
A new ‘fly through’ technique for filming Portland’s landscape is revealing the progress of conservation as never before.
Developed by a Dorset Wildlife Trust officer and volunteer, the remotely controlled camera on a zipwire is being used to film habitats in Portland’s quarries on a landscape scale, tracking the restoration of the island’s rare limestone grassland for wildlife.
Click above to watch the "fly-through" video
How it came about
Sam Hamer, Portland’s Living Landscape Project Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “Portland is such a dynamic landscape and we needed to record the scale of the threat to limestone grassland within that context. The little owls that nest in King Barrow had been watching us while we were working, which made me think that we needed a true ‘bird’s eye view’ on what we are trying to achieve. We hope that it will offer an insight into this unique place for people who have never been here before, and it’s a chance for people who know the quarries well to view them in a way they will not have seen them before.”
It took just one month to perfect the technique, which is now providing valuable landscape-scale data for conservationists during the ongoing battle with invasive alien species. Fast-growing cotoneaster is one of the invaders smothering rare native plants and lichens and threatening the survival of endangered butterflies and moths. Dorset Wildlife Trust’s ‘Portland’s Living Landscape’ project, supported by Viridor Credits Environmental Fund, is currently restoring up to 200 hectares of internationally important limestone grassland. This habitat supports ten UK Biodiversity Action Plan species, including the unique chalk grassland form of the silver studded blue butterfly which lives nowhere else in the world.
Sam added: “We may have put it together in a Heath Robinson way in our back gardens, but this contraption could be the start of a new way of looking at our landscapes up close, which is not only useful for the conservationists but also lets everybody see the progress of work for wildlife. It’s the next best thing to being there and hopefully that will make people want to come and see for themselves what’s living in Portland’s amazing old quarries.”
Why not become a volunteer at Portland's quarries?
The Portland’s Living Landscape project is a partnership initiative funded by a commemorative grant from Viridor Credits Environmental Company and supported by the Court Leet of the Royal Manor of Portland, Portland Bird Observatory, Plantlife and Natural England. Dorset Wildlife Trust is looking for local volunteers to join weekly conservation work parties this autumn in Portland’s quarries. For more information, contact Sam Hamer on 07824 874272 or email@example.com
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sam Hamer at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 07824 874272.
About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Portland’s Living Landscape supported by Viridor Credits through the landfill communities fund
The Isle of Portland is home to:
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