Holes Bay aerial view © Mike Thornton
People are being invited to get involved in an ambitious new project to create Dorset’s first urban Living Landscape. Dorset Wildlife Trust and its partners are holding a series of public events where people can have their say and be a part of the new Urban Wildlink project to protect wild landscapes and link people and wildlife across the whole east Dorset conurbation.
Bringing a Living Landscape to some of Dorset's urban areas
Dorset Wildlife Trust and its partners have joined forces to launch Urban Wildlink, a major Living Landscape project around the urban areas of Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset, involving conservation organisations, local authorities, private landowners and the local community. The kick-start to Urban Wildlink will be the purchase of 581 hectares (1435 acres) of land being sold by the Canford Estate, including internationally important heathland, saltmarsh and reedbeds, ancient woodland and important grassland. The Urban Wildlink Project aims to build on this to re-connect people and wildlife across the whole area between the New Forest and the Purbecks, providing opportunities for volunteering, encountering nature, making changes for wildlife in gardens, churchyards and other public spaces or even becoming wildlife champions in their own community.
What is a Living Landscape?
Brian Bleese, Director of Operations and Development at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “Living Landscapes are places where wildlife prospers and contributes to the quality of the natural environment, the economy and our quality of life. Urban Wildlink is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a Living Landscape spanning the urban areas of Dorset. We need the support of the people and communities of Dorset to make this exciting project happen.”
A partnership project
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.
Come along to a public consultation event
The Urban Wildlink public consultation events are as follows. Whilst each consultation will focus on the sites nearest the venue, information will be available regarding sites and opportunities across the whole Wildlink project.
|Saturday 15th June
||Barrington Centre, Ferndown (focusing on Ferndown Common)
|Saturday 22nd June
||Corfe Mullen Village Hall (focusing on Happy Bottom and Upton Heath)
|Saturday 22nd June
||2.00pm - 4.30pm
||Broadstone Methodist Church Centre (focusing on Dunyeats Hill, Arrowsmith Copse, Delph Woods)
|Saturday 29th June
||Heatherlands Centre, Tricketts Cross (focusing on Parley Common)
|Saturday 6th July
||The Community Centre, Upton, Poole (focusing on Lytchett Bay, Holes Bay and Upton Heath)
Click here for more information, to donate or to register your support
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
For our latest news RSS feed, see www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/c2/rss/dwt_latest_news.xml
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.
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.