(Above) The new Great Heath Team (L-R) Katie Wilkinson, Bev Lagden, Nicky Hoar and Sally Wright © Sam Manning (Below) Sandwich tern nesting on islands on the Brownsea Island Lagoon © Monique Vanstone
Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) and partners have appointed a new team of wildlife experts and enthusiasts to help roll out ‘The Great Heath Living Landscape’ one of the largest conservation projects in the East Dorset, Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area.
Two Community Conservation Officers, Sally Wright and Katie Wilkinson, Access Ranger, Bev Lagden and Learning and Interpretation Officer, Nicky Hoar will all be out and about to meet local people at schools, wildlife events and offering volunteering activities in the area.
Connecting dozens of wildlife sites
The project, which has been awarded £2.7million HLF funding, and £2million from local fundraising, will link two outstanding areas of natural heritage from the Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area (NIA) to the New Forest National Park, with high quality access and interpretation to connect dozens of sites across the area.
'We are looking forward to meeting local people at our events'
The Great Heath’s new Learning and Interpretation Officer, Nicky Hoar, said: “We are so pleased to be working on this exciting new project in Dorset, and we’re looking forward to meeting local people at our events and volunteering activities. This project is a unique chance for us to help protect rare wildlife in Dorset, but also encourage local people to get involved and learn about the wildlife around them. They may be surprised at what they find!”
Summer events on Brownsea Island
The new team has also created a programme of events, with the first, ‘Summer birds of Brownsea’ taking place on Friday 20th June from 11am 1pm on Brownsea Island - ‘Britain’s Favourite Nature Reserve’* This is a chance to watch nationally important nesting sandwich terns up close on the Brownsea Island lagoon, and learn from experts about these fascinating birds.
Come and join in!
Boats from Poole or Sandbanks at 10am, meet at the public hide by the cormorant sculpture (100m from the quay). There is no DWT charge but normal boat fares and National Trust admission charges apply. For more information, please ring 01202 692033 or 01202 709445. Find out more about all Great Heath events, the project and to sign up to the enewsletter here.
*Brownsea Island has been voted Britain’s favourite nature reserve in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards, 2013. The National Trust and Dorset Wildlife Trust have been working together in partnership for over 50 years to ensure Brownsea Island is managed for the benefit of wildlife and enjoyment of people.
Notes to Editor
Follow the Great Heath on Twitter @TheGreatHeath
Events this summer include:
Friday 27 June 9pm
The Heath at Dusk, Upton Heath
As night descends on Upton Heath, experience the sights & sounds of the emerging nocturnal wildlife with Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Poole group. With luck nightjars & bats will be out & about. Meet 9pm at the end of Beacon Road (BH17 7BQ) off Pinespring Drive/Roman Road, Corfe Mullen. For more information please contact
Sunday 29 June 9am
9am - 10am moth trap. 10am - 12 noon wildlife survey with Dorset Wildlife Trust on Upton Heath. Meet at the Urban Wildlife Centre (BH21 3RX), to help discover the wildlife of the heath. Families welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Please check website, contact Sally Wright on 01202 692033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thursday 10 July 10am
Urban Wildlife Volunteers
From April until September meet on the second Thursday of each month at the Urban Wildlife Centre, Beacon Hill. For this week meet at 9.00 for a moth trap opening and 10.00 for recording/monitoring tasks. For details of each task contact Andy Fale on 07970552673 or the Urban Wildlife Centre on 01202 692033.
Thursday 17 July 7pm
A Walk around Nea Meadows
A walk around this Local Nature Reserve in Highcliffe with Robin Harley and Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Bournemouth and Christchurch group. Meet at Nea Meadows car park off Smuggler’s Lane South GR SZ 201937. For further details please contact Duncan Gee on 01202 520340.
Wednesday 23 July 8.45 pm
Twilight on the Heath
Join Nicky Hoar from Dorset Wildlife Trust to look for nightjars and other heathland wildlife in Corfe Mullen, part of The Great Heath Living Landscape. Meet at Rushcombe Bottom (on the Roman Road just off Higher Blandford Road) GR SY993973. Stout footwear and a torch recommended. Limited parking please try to share lifts if driving. Suggested donation £3. Event in partnership with Borough of Poole. For more information, please ring 01202 692033 or email .
Saturday 26 July 2.30pm
A walk around Iford Meadows
Discover the meadows in high summer with Richard Hesketh and Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Bournemouth and Christchurch group. Park in Iford Lane playing field car park opposite Seafield Road (map ref. SZ 144926). For further details please contact Duncan Gee on 01202 520340.
Sunday 27 July 9am
Urban Weekenders moth trap and dragonfly walk
9am - 10am moth trap followed by dragonfly survey at 10.30am with DWT's Poole members' group on Upton Heath. Meet at the Urban Wildlife Centre (BH21 3RX) at 9am for moth trap. See below for details of the dragonfly walk and where to meet or you can car share/get a lift from the Urban Wildlife Centre at 10am. Families welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Please check website, contact Sally Wright on 01202 692033 or email for more information.
Sunday 27 July 10.30am to 2pm
Dragonfly Heath to River
Join Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Poole Group starting on Upton Heath and then moving onto the River Stour to explore the various habitats & associated species of dragonflies that are encountered. Bring packed lunch. Joint event with Urban Weekenders (see above - feel free to just do the Upton Heath walk, which will finish by lunchtime). Meet at junction of Longmeadow Lane and Beechbank Avenue (BH18 9JL). Contact 07947 141539 for more information.
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Follow us on Twitter @dorsetwildlife and facebook.com/dorsetwildlife
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.
The Great Heath Living Landscape an Urban Living Landscape in Dorset will deliver the following exciting objectives:
- To provide enhanced opportunities for visitors and local residents to enjoy and learn about the area's fantastic natural heritage
- To improve physical access to local green space close to high density urban areas
- To develop relationships with local landowners in order to enhance conservation management of land in private ownership and to open up access to more greenspace in the area.
- To provide increased involvement and volunteering opportunities for people in a variety of wildlife habitats on the urban margin
- To improve access to the marine environment on the fringes of Poole Harbour to improve its conservation value and increase public awareness and enjoyment
Sites include land at Hampreston and High Mead Lane, Award Road, Ferndown Common, Delph Wood, Arrowsmith Copse, Dunyeats Hill, Corfe Lodge Road, Upton Heath, Beacon Hill, Cottage Farm (Happy Bottom), Ashington Paddock, Barrow Hill, Wimborne Road, Rushcombe Bottom, Parley Common, Tricketts Cross, Lytchett Bay and Holes Bay.
The full Great Heath Living Landscape project will cost will be £4.7 million, we have already secured £2 million and have been awarded £2.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and need to raise further funds by public appeal.
The Great Heath Living Landscape is a partnership project involving Dorset Wildlife Trust, the Erica Trust, Poole Harbour Commissioners, Borough of Poole, Dorset County Council Countryside Service and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust. The project is supported by Bournemouth Borough Council. Christchurch Borough Council, East Dorset District Council and Natural England.
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 36,000 projects with £6bn across the UK. For more information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF press office, on tel: 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.