Photos © Steve Davis, Steve Martin and Brian Bleese
Dorset Wildlife Trust and partners were pleased to host the official unveiling of the Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre, which was opened by Lord Seb Coe during his Olympic Legacy visit to Weymouth and Portland.
Over 100 people attended the event, and this was an excellent opportunity for DWT to showcase the centre, which was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and forms an important part of the Olympic Games legacy.
Cast in legacy
Lord Seb Coe said: “Selling Weymouth and Portland was probably the easiest thing we had to do to the International Federations. This facility is absolutely cast in legacy, which is everything we went to Singapore for and that is what I’m witnessing across the country. This is a very happy day for me.”
Chairman of Dorset Wildlife Trust, Nigel Webb, said: “The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is all about engaging with people. We can provide information, education and encourage people to volunteer, which is a huge part of what we do. I am very delighted and proud that Dorset Wildlife Trust has been able to play such an important role in the development of the centre.”
An example of what volunteers can do
Cherry Anne Knot of the South West Committee for the Heritage Lottery Fund, a major funder of the centre, said: “It’s a real privilege to see the post-Olympic legacy in Weymouth and Portland. This locality provides such a unique span of our heritage and I cannot believe there is anywhere else in the world quite like it. Dorset Wildlife Trust is a wonderful example of what volunteers can do. Thank you for protecting our past, cherishing it, making it accessible, as you have done with this centre, and securing it for future generations.”
Part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site, Chesil beach is a very popular visitor destination and is one of the most significant areas of conservation in the UK. The Chesil Centre has been recognised as a fantastic resource of information about the flora and fauna in the area, and plans to extend and improve the interpretation and education facilities have been in place since 2004.
Emily Brown, Centre Manager for the Chesil Centre said: “Dorset Wildlife Trust is delighted to be running the new Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre. It is a great chance for us to let the public know about Chesil Beach and its fascinating wildlife. Our visitors have been really enjoying the new Centre there are lots for all the family to see and do. We have plenty of activities running over the school holidays, such as Wild About Chesil where you can find out all about local wildlife, and maybe even meet some!”
Go Wild! at Chesil
There is no better way to experience what the centre has to offer than to come and visit. Dorset Wildlife Trust is holding a ‘Wild About Chesil’ event on Sunday 28th July, to showcase the new facilities. There will be plenty of activities for kids and adults alike, a BBQ and a live band. For more information about the event, pop down and see Emily and Marc at the centre, or visit: www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/events
The Centre is open from 10am to 5pm every day. For more information, ring 01305 206191 or visit dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/chesilcentre.
The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is a partnership between Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Dorset Wildlife Trust. The Centre is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Fine Family Foundation, Chesil Bank and the Fleet Nature Reserve, Jurassic Coast Team and Trust, Crown Estate, Court Leet of the Island and Royal Manor of Portland, Dorset County Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Chalk and Cheese and an army of volunteers from the local community.
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature.
Notes to Editor
- Official Opening of the Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre (L-R Simon Cripps, Chief Exective of DWT; Nigel Webb, Chairman of DWT; Lady Mayor Pamela Nixon; Lord Seb Coe; Sibyl Fine King, Director of the Fine Family Foundation; Ray Banham, Mayor of Weymouth and Portland; Cherry Ann Knott, Heritage Lottery Fund; Brian Bleese, Director of Operations, DWT) © Steve Martin
- Olypmic Rings on Portland (L-R) Tony Porter, Albion Stone, Simon Williams, WPBC, Lord Seb Coe, DWT Cheif Executive Simon Cripps, DWT Brian Bleese © Steve Davis
- Plaque © Brian Bleese
For more information please contact Marc Smith or Emily Brown at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 206191.
About Dorset Wildlife Trust
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature
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 Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. 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 more than 26,000 projects, allocating over £4 billion across the UK. This includes over £411 million to more than 2,600 projects across the South West. Website: www.hlf.org.uk.