Following last June’s massive fire, which devastated a third of Upton Heath, hundreds of volunteers turned out to help Dorset Wildlife Trust in an unprecedented reptile rescue operation. In the week following the fire, hundreds of surviving reptiles, including rare smooth snakes and sand lizards, were rescued by an army of volunteers and moved onto undamaged parts of the Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve. The BBC filmed the operation for their Animal Rescue 24:7 programme, which was broadcast on Easter Monday. The film shows a great effort for wildlife in the face of huge adversity. Recovery of the heath will take years but has already begun, helped by over £50,000 donated by the public. Thank you to everyone who donated.
Watch the reptile rescue here.
Join the new Heathwatch scheme to protect Upton Heath.
About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Notes to Editor
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
Upton Heath after the fire - Noel Bergin