There is good news for river wildlife in Dorchester, with the announcement of a £15,000 funding boost from SITA Trust for the Dorchester Mill Stream Enhancement Scheme. Led by Dorset Wildlife Trust, work will begin on 1st August to improve the stream for wildlife by softening its straight banks and providing native plants. SITA Trust provides funding through the Landfill Communities Fund. Funding is available for community and environmental groups to carry out a range of improvement projects.
Why is the grant such good news?
Sarah Williams, Dorset Wild Rivers Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “Dorchester’s Mill Stream has the potential to be a very good chalk stream, an important and rare habitat for river life. Thanks to this grant from SITA Trust for this community project, local people will be able to enjoy the beauty and wildlife of a healthy chalk stream, a true Dorset Wild River for Dorchester.”
The Low level shelves (or berms) will be used to narrow the wide sections, allowing the river to create pools and shallow riffles for fish to spawn. The berms will be made on site from chestnut stakes and faggots of local wood prunings from DWT’s nature reserves, and planted with native species. The work, involving local contractors and volunteers, is expected to take three weeks.
What wildlife is found on the rivers?
Sarah added: “We hope to see the banks used by many more nesting birds and mammals, including water voles, which are known to be nearby. The stream should also be much more attractive to the larvae of flies and dragonflies and to fish such as brown trout and bullheads. Just because the Mill Stream is man-made doesn’t mean it can’t be good for wildlife. By this time next year we expect the river to fulfil its true potential.”
Jools Granville of SITA Trust said: “We were delighted to provide the final chunk of financial support to such an important biodiversity project through our Enriching Nature Programme and are very much looking forward to seeing the results”.
The Dorchester Mill Stream Enhancement Scheme, a Dorset Wild Rivers project, is supported by SITA Trust’s Enhancing Communities Programme through the Landfill Communities Fund and also by the Environment Agency, The Big Lottery Fund, the Wild Trout Trust and many charitable trusts. It is supported by Dorchester Town Council, Dorchester Joint Heritage Committee, Dorchester Civic Society, Dorchester Chamber of Commerce, Dorchester Fishing Club and the Friends of Riverside Reserve. Dorset Wild Rivers is supported by Wessex Water and The Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
How can I get involved?
Volunteers are welcome to help with planting on August 13th and 14th from 10am to 12 noon. No need to book, but for more information about the Dorchester Mill Stream Enhancement Scheme or Dorset Wild Rivers, contact Sarah Williams on 01305 264620.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Nicky Hoar at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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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.
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There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK and the Isle of Man and Alderney. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.