Have you made those New Year resolutions for 2024 yet? If not, then why not take a closer look at the fascinating environment that surrounds us all in Dorset through the eyes of the Dorset Wildlife Trust? With our stunning heaths, beautiful beaches and Jurassic coast; Dorset is a haven for wildlife and fauna. Working hard to maintain and develop this are the team at the Dorset Wildlife Trust.
Reflecting on a busy and productive 2023
As the year turns, the Dorset Wildlife Trust can reflect on a busy and productive 2023. Started in 1961 and now registering over 27,000 members, the Trust manages over 40 reserves and is proudly Dorset's largest nature charity. It recently benefited from a share of Nature Englands £14.5 million conservation grant which will allow habitat improvement for some of Dorset’s most threatened species like the sand lizard and the great crested newt . And in the north of Dorset, continuing woodland, hedge and field management programs aim to provide more habitat for the wonderfully eponymous fly orchid.
Defra also chipped in with a £750,000 grant to support the Dorset Peat Partnership enabling 174 hectares of damaged peatland to be restored and renewed across 16 different sites in Dorset ensuring the maintenance of a mosaic of rich and diverse wetland habitats, bogs, mires across our lowland heath habitats Elsewhere the Dorset beaver project in west Dorset produced their first kits this summer. Rivers Conservation Officer, Steve Oliver said, "This is such exciting news. Breeding is a clear indication that the beavers we introduced to site in 2021 are healthy and happy in their Dorset home".
In 2023 the trust also launched it's Nextdoor Nature programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This programme seeks to support communities across the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch areas to take care of communal areas that matter to them.
Volunteer in the New Year
Dorset Wildlife Trust are now looking for local people to join as volunteers in 2024. Sessions will be held in January and February so that anyone interested can find out more about the opportunities.
Julie Hatcher, Wild Seas Centre Officer, said, "We have an amazing team of volunteers across all our visitor centres . What they all have in common is a passion for wildlife and a desire to help ensure its wellbeing. With the current climate and ecological crises and increasing pressures from human activities, wildlife on land and in the sea is under threat, our conservation work has never been more important".
Sadly, the Brownsea Island reserve, famous for its unique red squirrel population, was blighted by an outbreak of Avian flu last summer, resulting in the deaths of around 600 seabirds, badly damaging the populations of common and sandwich terns. However, on a brighter note, the first ever Avocet chicks, well known as the symbol of the RSBP, fledged on Brownsea this year.
So, if you're still thinking about that New Years Resolution; why not get in touch with the Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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