Mid Dorset and North Poole Constituency
What’s special and valuable about Mid Dorset and North Poole’s natural environment?
There are not only open heaths, including some of the largest and finest remaining in the county, but also large tracts of former heath planted with conifers. All are of international importance for their scarce habitat and rare species, such as nightjars, Dartford warblers and sand lizards, along with plants Dorset heath and marsh gentians.
Flowing through the constituency is the River Stour and the important Piddle and Allen chalk rivers, where the native whiteclawed crayfish, otters, and water voles are found.
Poole Harbour experiences some of the smallest tides in the UK, with an unusually long high-water stand. Along the harbour edge, the rich mudflats support huge numbers of wading birds, some with international importance, and a valuable shell fishery.
As well as large conifer plantations there are many small copses on the clay soils around the heath area. These are the stronghold of the scarce narrow-leaved lungwort and some have displays of wild daffodils.
Protecting and restoring nature in Mid Dorset and North Poole constituency
Restoring and connecting heathland: Since the mid eighteenth century 85% of heathland in Dorset has been lost, leaving isolated fragments. The Great Heath project, which was established in 2013 (funded by the HLF), aims to link people and wildlife across the area, creating a landscape rich in wildlife and highly valued, enjoyed and cared for by people. This project has seen the purchase of land, creation of nature parks and collaborative working with other organisations to start the process of linking wild spaces for the benefit of wildlife. The main funding of this project is coming to an end, so we need to make sure the work is continued.
Restoring and managing our woodlands: Surprisingly perhaps, the South West is one of the least wooded areas in the Britain. We have some wonderful broadleaved woodlands and amazing ancient trees that are extraordinarily rich for nature. But many of our woodlands have been planted with non-native trees and struggle with problems such as overgrazing, for example by deer. The challenge now is to restore, manage and connect our woodlands.
What you can do
Please share the below questions with your local candidates, through social media, email or face to face, and ask other people who care about nature in your constituency, to do the same. This will give you a basis for keeping the natural environment on their agenda and let them know how important it is to you.
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