New signs are helping people discover the rare wildlife of Dorset’s most easterly heathland reserve this spring, thanks to Bournemouth Airport. Some of the rarest wildlife in Britain features on the new information boards around Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Sopley Common reserve, which have been funded by the Bournemouth Airport Community Fund.
Nigel Brooks, Dorset Wildlife Trust warden, said:
“We hope that these new signs will make people more aware of the amazing wildlife found on this extremely important site. Living in Dorset, it is easy to take heathland for granted but this rare habitat is part of what makes the county so outstanding on a national scale. We are very grateful to Bournemouth Airport for recognising this and supporting nature conservation on its doorstep.”
Ray Coggins, Environment Manager at Bournemouth Airport, said: “The new information boards will provide important and interesting information for people visiting this beautiful area. The Bournemouth Airport Community Fund is in place to support projects like this and we were delighted to be able to provide these signs for the Sopley Common reserve.”
The 82 acre Sopley Common nature reserve is made up of lowland heath and woodland and its wildlife includes birds such as Dartford warbler and nightjar, Britain’s rarest snake and lizard, the smooth snake and sand lizard as well as insects such as silver-studded blue butterflies, heath tiger beetles and many dragonflies. Plants include carnivorous sundews.
The reserve is protected by national and international law due to the rarity of its habitat and wildlife.
Dorset Wildlife Trust manages Sopley Common by preventing the encroachment of trees, maintaining a mix of heather and patches of bare ground and managing human impact on this important site, a fragment of a much larger heathland created by Bronze Age man. Open at all times. Access from Avon Causeway road, where parking is available.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Nigel Brooks at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01202 692033 or 07970 552679. For our latest news RSS feed, see /c2/rss/dwt_latest_news.xml
About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
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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 Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is owned by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and leased to Dorset Wildlife Trust who run the Centre on behalf of a partnership including the Chesil Bank and the Fleet Nature Reserve and the Jurassic Coast Team, with the continued help of local volunteers. The building of the new centre and boardwalk was made possible by funding from a wide range of organisations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Crown Estate and Court Leet of the Island and Royal Manor of Portland, the Fine Family Foundation, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Dorset County Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Chalk and Cheese and the Jurassic Coast Trust.
The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) www.wildlifetrusts.org
There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK. 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.