(Above) Little tern nesting on Chesil Beach by DWT (below) The Fleet Observer by Angela Thomas
(below) Dormouse by Anna Muckle (below) red squirrel by Stewart Canham
Dorset Wildlife Trust’s (DWT) Chesil Beach Centre will be hosting a fundraising evening and auction on Thursday 5th June to raise money to protect the little tern, which is the second rarest seabird in the country. Chesil beach is the only location of a breeding colony in South West England.
An exclusive ‘wildlife experiences’ auction will help raise vital funds to build fencing and provide wardens to help protect little terns from predators and disturbance. Experiences on offer include a night in the DWT villa on Brownsea Island and a sunset wildlife watching boat trip on the Lagoon, a chance to discover dormice in West Dorset, a trip on the Fleet Observer to watch the sunset over Chesil, and an opportunity to see the little terns up close with a warden.
Get up close to Dorset's wildlife
DWT’s Chesil Centre Manager, Emily Brown said: “The ‘wildlife promises’ auction is a great chance to get up close to Dorset’s wildlife with the experts see wild birds, search for dormice or spend the night in our flagship nature reserve, Brownsea Island. All proceeds raised will go straight to the little tern project, which is a joint project managed by the RSPB and supported by DWT. You can bid online, or come along to the fundraising evening, where experts will be talking about these amazing little birds, and you can also bid in person.”
The smallest species of tern to breed in the UK
Previously, little tern numbers have dropped to as low as 10 breeding pairs but this number has increased recently due to habitat work from local conservationists. The breeding group of terns at Chesil are the smallest species of tern to breed in the UK. They come to Chesil from West Africa, to breed in the excellent habitat which Chesil beach provides for them, such as shallow and sheltered feeding areas. They do not go far from their nesting site, so they can comfortably feed on fish in the Fleet and in the local Lyme Bay waters.
The Little Tern Fundraising Evening will be held on Thursday June 5th at 7pm at the Chesil Beach Centre, half way along the causeway from Weymouth to Portland. (DT4 9XE) The evening will also include talks about the Chesil Little Terns, a buffet, and spectacular views across the Fleet from the centre. Tickets cost £12 and are available from the Chesil Beach Centre, or book via phone on 01305 206191.
Notes to Editor
The project is managed by the RSPB and supported by Dorset Wildlife Trust, Chesil and Fleet nature reserve, Natural England and the EU PANACHE Interreg Project.
The little tern breeding project is supported by the Crown Estate Marine Stewardship Fund. This funding has been matched by the Portland Court Leet.
ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE AUCTION TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE LITTLE TERN PROJECT ON CHESIL BEACH
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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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.