Dorset Wildlife Trust launch the Fleet Explorer
Friday 25th March 2016
It will be all hands on deck as Dorset wildlife Trust (DWT) get underway with their new venture, the Fleet Explorer. DWT has recently taken over the management and running of the boat, previously the Fleet Observer, as a natural extension to the Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre.
The shallow drafted, flat bottom vessel is perfectly designed for exploring the Fleet Lagoon, one of the UK’s most important Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), which supports over 150 species of seaweed, 25 species of fish and 60 species of mollusc, as well as providing food and sanctuary for many important bird species.
Marc Smith, Chesil Beach Centre manager said: “We are very excited to take over the running of the Fleet Explorer. It has always been a big draw for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, tourists and families alike. You get some great views of seabirds, hear fascinating stories from the skippers, find out about the marine life and might even get to see the Chesil Beach hares.”
The boat has been operating on the Fleet since 1994, when it was set up and run by local angler, fisherman and marine engineer, Bill Noble. It was later taken over by the Chesil Bank and Fleet Nature Reserve who have now passed the baton to Dorset Wildlife Trust.
Marc added “The boat has a rich history and we look forward to carrying this on. The boat will be operating as normal, with trips running Easter to September. We will also be putting on some special events, including Protected Seas, Smugglers on the Lagoon, World Oceans Day and Sundown cruises. The Fleet Explorer will also be available to charter for groups, schools, birthdays and special occasions.”
Can you help?
Dorset Wildlife Trust is looking for help from individuals or businesses to support the boat with maintenance and expertise. There is also a great opportunity for a new skipper to join the team, someone with a commercial endorsement or with at least three years’ experience operating powerboat RYA Level 2.
Book a trip
To book a trip on the Fleet Explorer or to see how you can get involved phone 01305 206191.
For events listings visit our guide to events.
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
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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.
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