The new Chesil Beach Centre will be the place to see, touch and taste the riches of Dorset’s natural heritage, says Dorset Wildlife Trust. Dorset’s largest nature conservation charity has announced its partnership with top Dorset chef Mat Follas for the new Centre, opening this summer, complete with education room, information centre and café.
Strong emphasis on sustainable and locally sourced food
The rebuilt Chesil Beach Centre, which opens on 21st July, will be the place to discover the amazing wildlife and geology of land and sea in Dorset. Well-known as chef and proprietor of The Wild Garlic in Beaminster, Mat will operate the café, as well as continuing to cook at The Wild Garlic, on behalf of DWT, with a strong emphasis on sustainable and locally sourced food, including conservation grade beef from DWT’s nature reserves and seafood as approved by DWT’s Great Dorset Seafood campaign.
Brian Bleese, Director of Operations and Development at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “We want to open people’s eyes to the wonders of our outstanding natural heritage and The Chesil Beach Centre will give us the opportunity to engage a wide range of visitors and local people and to inspire them about this fascinating habitat and its wildlife. We are very excited to be working with Mat, who shares our passion for local, sustainable food. With him on board, Chesil Beach Centre will make a visit to this gem of The Jurassic Coast a fantastic day out for everybody, from families to birdwatchers, walkers and water sports fans.”
We'd love to hear from potential apprentices and other staff wanting to join us
Mat said: “We’re excited to be part of the new centre at Chesil, it gives us an opportunity to demonstrate great food without the price tag that is often perceived to accompany using sustainable produce. The café will serve coffees all day, bacon butties and brunch in the mornings and family meals, including kids meals, for lunch and dinner. I have a great chef joining us, Jean-Paul (JP) De Ronne who is Belgian born but grew up locally and has a broad range of experience, I’m expecting fantastic Mussels Marinières from JP as a Belgian, as well we’ll have a great local French style fish soup or Bouillabaisse, Burgers using the Dorset Wildlife Trust Angus and Galloway beef herds and, of course the best fish and chips to eat in or take away. We’d also love to hear from potential apprentices and other staff wanting to join us as we have half a dozen jobs to fill by July”.
Chesil Beach Centre will be run by Dorset Wildlife Trust on behalf of a partnership including Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and the Fleet and Chesil Bank Nature Reserve, with the continued help of local volunteers. Organisations helping to fund the project include the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Crown Estate, the Fine Family Foundation, Dorset County Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Portland Gas Trust, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Jurassic Coast Project.
For more information, to get involved or to sponsor a plank on the new Chesil Beach Centre boardwalk, click here or ring 01305 264620.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Brian Bleese at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 07970 552675.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
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.
Artist’s impression of the new Chesil Beach Centre, due to open on 21st July