(Above) Aaron Osman, Millie Goddard, Mareike Vilbrandt Himalayan Balsam pulling © Sally Wright
(Below) Dragonfly surveying on Upton Heath ponds © Andy Fear
This summer, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has been providing vital knowledge and experience to the next generation of wildlife conservationists with its ‘Green Team’ programme, which is now in its fourth year.
The Green Team project gives young people the opportunity to experience working in the conservation sector, teaching them vital skills, including learning about wildlife and ecosystems, conservation management practices, practical tool use, teamwork, and the importance talking to the public.
DWT Conservation Officer Sally Wright said, “The Green Team project is a great initiative that gives people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to learn and improve their skills. This year we were able to get out onto some of the new Great Heath Living Landscape Project reserves, and take part in practical conservation tasks such as Himalayan balsam removal, wildlife surveying, and access work at Lychett Bay. The whole team worked incredibly hard and were always enthusiastic, and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time spent with DWT.”
What's it like to be part of the Green Team?
DWT Green Team member, Laurence Skinner said, "Working with DWT has been really interesting, especially learning about the Great Heath Living Landscape project. I have a real love for river habitats so I really enjoyed the time we spent removing Himalayan balsam from the riverbank. I hope to go onto university to study conservation and marine ecology and the work I’ve done with the Green Team is really going to help me achieve my goals.”
Fellow Green Team member Chris Goding said, “DWT is full of knowledgeable and committed staff and they have lots of volunteering opportunities for people from all walks of life. My experience with the Green team has made me consider taking an extra year at Aberystwyth University to complete an honours degree. All the practical skills I’ve learnt during my time here are going to prove extremely useful for my future career in conservation.”
Would you like to get involved?
If you would like to volunteer for the next Green Team programme, please contact Sally Wright on 01202 692033 for more information.
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
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.