Photo by Tony Bates
Dorset Wildlife Trust’s most ambitious conservation project, worth £4.4 million, has been given a fantastic head-start with a £17,000 donation from local businesses, who recognise the importance of protecting wildlife habitats in Dorset.
The Urban Wildlink project aims to purchase 1,435 hectares of land for sale by the Canford Estate in east Dorset, which includes sites already managed and protected by DWT, such as Upton Heath. The Urban Wildlink partnership needs the support of local people and businesses to raise £300,000 to secure the purchase, protection and conservation of this land.
Local Business Support
Dorset Wildlife Trust is delighted not only to have received such generous donations from local businesses Osprey Europe and The The Southern Co-operative, but to have inspired interest and awareness of the project at a local level.
Outdoor adventure equipment suppliers, Osprey Europe, have an office in Poole and have donated £2,000 to our appeal. A spokesperson said: “At Osprey Europe, we are committed to protecting our natural environment and are delighted to be able to support Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Urban Wildlink Appeal. We are proud of the strides we have made to lessen our impact upon the planet and tread lightly. Our commitment to be an outdoor industry leader in sustainability, environmental and social concerns is taken seriously and although we have accomplished much, there is still plenty more to be done. We wish Dorset Wildlife Trust the best of luck with this ambitious and worthwhile appeal.”
A further donation of £15,000 has also been received by The Southern Co-operative, who are corporate partners to DWT. Gemma Lacey, The Southern Co-operative's Head of Sustainability, said: “The Southern Co-operative, which has fifteen food stores in Dorset, has a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability. As part of this we have been a corporate partner of Dorset Wildlife Trust for the past couple of years and our colleagues working for The Southern Co-operative regularly volunteer their time to support vital conservation work on the Trust’s reserves. When we heard about the Urban Wildlink project, we were keen to support this with a donation of £15,000. As Dorset's first urban living landscape Urban Wildlink will help protect and restore key wildlife habitats in the region, providing great opportunities for local people to get closer to wild spaces.”
Living Landscape Partnership for Wildllife
This unique project will involve partnerships between conservation organisations, local authorities, private landowners, businesses and the local community to create a ‘living landscape’ a space where wildlife prospers and contributes to the quality of the natural environment. At Dorset Wildlife Trust, we want to see the land properly managed and cared for to restrict urbanisation, leaving green space for local people to connect with and enjoy for generations to come.
Nicki Brunt, DWT’s Urban Wildlink project Officer said: “We really value support from local businesses and corporate partners in the local community. This exciting land purchase will protect some of our areas most special and diverse wildlife habitats, securing them for both wildlife and people for the future. Whether you work, live, visit or go to school in the area, we can all enjoy wildlife and use the green space around us to enhance our wellbeing. We are so pleased that local businesses are recognising the value of wildlife in Dorset and supporting us in our most ambitious project to date.”
Other sites to be purchased in the project include Ferndown Common, Holes Bay, part of Lytchett Bay, Parley Common, woodland and heath at Corfe Mullen and Dunyeats Hill.
Get Involved with Urban Wildlink
Urban Wildlink 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. Urban Wildlink has received Stage 1 approval and a development grant of £85,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and will be applying for £2.4 million later this year. A public appeal has been launched to raise the remaining £300,000.
This is a large project, with the local community at the heart of it, and we want to know what YOU think. If you want to find out more, we have an additional public consultation date on Wednesday 4th September at the Barrington Centre in Ferndown from 3-5.30pm or 7-8.30pm.
If you are unable to make it and still want to have your say, please complete our short survey at Public Questionnaire.
You can get more information about the project and donate here
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
About Dorset Wildlife Trust
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
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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.
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 more than 34,000 projects with more than £5bn across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk. For more information please contact Katie Owen, HLF press office, on tel: 020 7591 6036/07973 613820.
The Southern Co-operative, which celebrates its 140th anniversary in 2013, is an independently owned regional Co-operative Society based in southern England with over 200 community food stores and funeral homes located across Berkshire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire. Community involvement is paramount to the success of The Southern Co-operative’s business and includes fundraising for local charities, supporting environmental and community owned organisations and working with local food producers.
Urban Wildlink - 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 Urban Wildlink Project cost will be £4.4 million, we have already secured £1.69 million, are applying for 2nd stage funding of £2.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and need to raise a further £300,000 by public appeal.
Urban Wildlink 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.