(Above) Roadside verge in west Dorset by Joy Wallis
Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is looking for volunteers to help assess the abundance of wildlife found on Dorset’s mini nature reserves on roadside verges in the South Dorset Ridgeway Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB).
Many wouldn’t associate roadsides with wildlife, but as spring approaches, bluebells, snowdrops, small copper butterflies and bullfinches are just some of the wildlife you can expect to see flourishing on the verges, which are an important part of our landscape, not only adding to the beauty of an area but also providing a home to a remarkable variety of wildlife.
The network of verges creates a wildlife corridor, allowing wildlife to link to larger areas of conservation and allowing less mobile species to move around more freely.
100 roadside verges noted for wildlife value in Dorset
DWT’s community conservation officer, Joy Wallis said, “There are around 100 roadside verges noted for their wildlife value in Dorset. As part of the Heritage Lottery-funded South Dorset Ridgeway Project and working with Dorset County Council, we need help to visit each section of the roadside verges between the South of Dorchester, from Bridport to Broadmayne. Each verge will need to be visited twice during 2014. We are looking for people who are reasonably fit and comfortable entering their findings online.”
Help us assess the value of verges
Verges will be assessed for their wildlife value and potential for improvement throughout 2014. Recommendations will be made from this data, and a contractor will be engaged to carry out restoration and enhancement work of selected sites during 2015. These sites will then be monitored during the remaining three years of the project (2018) for signs of improvement.
Full training will be provided
Full training and botanical identification training will be given if needed. A training session will be held at 7pm on March 10th at Dorset Wildlife Trust HQ, Brooklands, Forston, Dorchester, DT2 7AA. For more information, please contact or phone 07891 009951.
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
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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.