Above: Nigel Brookes from DWT, Stuart Nicholson from Galahad and children from Upton Heath Infants School © Upton Infants School. Below: Cheque presentation © Upton Infants School, Upton Heath © Andy Fale
School children at Upton Infants School have chosen Dorset Wildlife Trust’s ‘Upton Heath’ nature reserve as their charity appeal of the year, and have raised £936.90 to help DWT continue its conservation work on the heathland.
Whilst spending time learning and playing on the heath, school children from Upton Infants School were inspired by the conservation work DWT have already done, particularly since the devastating fire of 2011, to protect and restore the huge variety of wildlife that lives there.
Children's passion for the environment
Daniel Williams, Deputy Headteacher at Upton Infants School, Poole, said: “Upton Heath is a valued local wildlife area, one which many of the children use on a regular basis, and it was an easy decision by the children to support this local treasure. The fundraising has helped children gain a greater awareness of Upton Heath, which will stay with them for many years to come and lead to a generation of Upton school children with an increased passion for their local environment.”
As well as a car wash and cake sale there has been a fantastic response to children’s letters to celebrities and public figures, asking for memorabilia to auction, in the name of Upton Heath. Daniel Craig, David Cameron, Brian May and Sir David Attenborough were just a few of the big names who sent signed pictures. Other items on offer included two original Pink Floyd tour posters from the 1970’s and a signed LP from English rock band Galahad, who also performed one of their songs at the cheque presentation at the school.
Restoration work continues to re-build habitats
Nigel Brookes, East Dorset Warden for Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “I was delighted to accept the cheque on behalf of Dorset Wildlife Trust from Upton Infants School. It’s great to see young people engaging with wildlife in their local area. The work DWT has done on Upton Heath since the fire is a great example of how important it is to manage land properly we still have a lot of work to do, but with an army of volunteers and continued support from the local community, we have made important steps to re-build the fragile habitats which were damaged by the fire in 2011.”
Over a third of Upton Heath was destroyed by fire in 2011, which caused devastation to the rare and precious wildlife which was in abundance there. Through the support of public donations of over £50,000 and a generous donation of £119,778 by the SITA
Trust, DWT have been able to start work on restoring the burnt areas and a newly acquired section of the heath. On-going management of Upton Heath is supported by SITA Trust, and thanks to volunteers, college groups and corporate groups, DWT have been able to carry out tasks such as clearing invasive scrub.
For more information about how to donate to the Urban Wildlink project, which aims to ensure land at Upton Heath continues to be managed by DWT, please click here
SITA Trust provides finding through the Landfill Communities Fund for projects that enhance communities and enrich nature.
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.