Above: Ripped up Hazel Stool. Below: Ripped up tree next to a Dormice box & track created by damaging woodland.
All photos © Sarah Hudson
Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is shocked and disappointed to discover extensive deliberate damage to its Hendover Coppice nature reserve, near Hillfield in west Dorset.
The ancient woodland nature reserve is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) which supports protected Dormice and rich ancient woodland flora.
In September 2014, the first signs of damage were discovered with hazel trees being found ripped out of the ground and put to one side, to create a clearing. Since then, the ground has been flattened by machinery to create a track for vehicles to use as a cut through from the parking area to the adjacent road.
Unacceptable & deeply distressing
DWT site warden, Neil Gibson, said, “This kind of careless habitat destruction on a nature reserve is unacceptable and deeply distressing. Protected species, such as Dormice inhabit the reserve and survey boxes are found in the immediate vicinity of the cleared area. There are also over 120 individual orchids in this area of several different species. These sites are deemed to be abundant with wildlife and need to be protected.”
Please report any criminal damage you see
As a result, the conservation charity is calling for the general public to help protect its nature reserves from criminal damage by remaining vigilant at all times and reporting any damage to Dorset Police and DWT.
Neil added: “We need the help of the general public to report any signs of deliberate damage to these sites. Wildlife is for everyone to enjoy, and it’s our responsibility to protect it where possible, so incidents like this don’t happen again.”
Find out more
To find out more information about Dorset Wildlife Trust reserves, please click here. To report a problem on any of our nature reserves, please phone 01305 264620, giving the location, nature of incident and contact details.
Notes to Editor
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
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.