(Above) Bike ride in Dorset © Alastair Cook (Below) Marine Survey © Peter Tinsley (below) Weymouth Relief road © Phil Sterling
The release of a new report: ‘Natural Value: The State of Dorset’s Environment’, which explores what Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole are doing to protect and manage Dorset’s environment, will be launched at a conference at the Lighthouse in Poole on Thursday 2nd October.
After many years of planning, this new report will be published by Dorset’s Local Nature Partnership, (LNP) and seeks to answer questions such as: Is Dorset as green as we think it is, or should be? Is it getting better or worse, and how does Dorset compare to the rest of the UK, or even the world? Issues such as recycling rates, development pressure, the extent of protected areas and how much outdoor exercise we get is covered by this ground-breaking exposé of life in Dorset.
Dorset's natural heritage has been damaged
Chair of Dorset’s Local Nature Partnership (LNP) Dr Simon Cripps said, “This report is long overdue but it has taken a huge amount of work by the many partners forming the LNP. It shows as you might expect that Dorset has an unparalleled natural heritage that is worth billions of pounds each year in income, but it is very fragile and has been badly damaged in the past. We must better learn how to look after this goose that lays the gold eggs so that we can achieve valuable growth and development, but not at the cost of the very environment which sustains it.”
The main findings:
The report has revealed some striking facts and figures about Dorset, including:
- 76 of the county’s important nature conservation sites have been lost since just 2005.
- Otters have now recolonised almost all of Dorset’s rivers.
- 2.8% of our county’s 11,000 irreplaceable heritage assets are at risk.
- Tourism is worth around £1.44 billion to Dorset each year and 12% of jobs, both of which are almost entirely dependent on our natural environment.
- We recycle more than the national average waste.
- Outdoor exercise could cut down on NHS spend on drugs and obesity.
- Over 25.8% of our coastal waters are in some way now protected.
Find out more
The report can be downloaded here and from partner organisation websites.
Notes to Editor
After The Natural Environment White Paper of 2011 government proposed the establishment of a national network of Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs) to develop a vision for the local environment, champion its interests and better integrate environmental objectives with social and economic goals, working closely with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Health and Wellbeing Boards in the process.
The Dorset LNP was officially recognised by government in 2012. It brings together a wide range of partners in public, private and voluntary sectors across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole. The LNP exists to maximise the benefits to be gained from protecting and enhancing the unique natural assets of the area for people, wildlife and businesses.
The Dorset Local Nature Partnership will:
• Provide leadership for those working to protect and enhance the environment in Dorset.
• Advocate the good management of Dorset’s natural environment for its own sake and the many benefits it offers.
• Articulate the importance of Dorset’s natural environment to economic and social wellbeing in a manner appropriate to diverse audiences.
• Ensure that the natural environment is taken into account in policy and decision-making.
The Dorset LNP represents more than 100 organisations across the county. The following organisations were the main contributors (financially and/or in-kind) to the production of this report: Bournemouth Borough Council; Dorset Environmental Records Centre (DERC), The Environment Agency, Poole Borough Council, Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Dorset County Council, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) and Natural England.
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.