Dorset Wildlife Trust urges visitors to follow advice on using nature reserves during Covid-19 lockdown

Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is advising anyone planning to visit one of its 42 nature reserves in Dorset to adhere to the government guidance for social distancing and to only use these sites as part of their daily exercise allowance. If the site is busy, we are asking visitors to return at a quieter time or postpone their visit completely.

DWT has closed car parks to nature reserves to limit the potential visitor numbers.  Due to many nature reserves having public rights of way running through them, DWT does not have the authority to close them to the public, but hopes that if they are used, they are used responsibly so visitors do not put themselves or others at risk following the rapid progression of Covid-19.   

DWT Centres are now closed and staff are homeworking where possible to protect the volunteers, staff and supporters of Dorset’s largest conservation charity.  All events and activities until the end of May have been cancelled, and this situation is being reviewed constantly, in line with Government advice.  

DWT Chief Executive, Brian Bleese, said, “We understand that the desire to get out into nature for the benefit of our mental and physical wellbeing has never been greater, but we urge any visitors to behave responsibly at this time. Instead of visiting nature reserves, we are asking you to enjoy the wildlife in your gardens and immerse yourselves in the wildlife you see looking out the window, with the #dorsetwildlifewindow campaign.”  

“Over the coming weeks and months, our communications team will be working hard to share inspiration and ideas of how you can still connect with nature from home.  We hope that after the situation has improved and normal life resumes that local people in Dorset will appreciate the fantastic wild spaces we are blessed with in the county, and continue to support the great work of Dorset Wildlife Trust.  Dorset’s natural environment and wildlife needs your help more than ever during these uncertain times.”  

DWT is also delighted to be streaming its barn owl webcam, sponsored by PFM Associates.  You can tune in from home to watch our two barn owls roosting and hopefully producing some eggs in the next few weeks.  Click here to view it now

Please share your photos and video from your gardens and what you see out of windows and join the #dorsetwildlifewindow campaign by following DWT’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter social media accounts.  

You can also sign up to DWT’s newsletter for ideas and inspiration of how to be wild at home.  

Barn owl webcam screen shot by DWT