Dorset Wildlife Trust’s most ambitious conservation project, worth £4.4 million, has been given a fantastic head-start with a £17,000 donation from local businesses, who recognise the importance of protecting wildlife habitats in Dorset.
The Urban Wildlink project aims to purchase 1,435 hectares of land for sale by the Canford Estate in east Dorset, which includes sites already managed and protected by DWT, such as Upton Heath. The Urban Wildlink partnership needs the support of local people and businesses to raise £300,000 to secure the purchase, protection and conservation of this land.
Dorset Wildlife Trust is delighted not only to have received such generous donations from local businesses Osprey Europe and The Southern Co-op, but to have inspired interest and awareness of the project at a local level.
Outdoor adventure equipment suppliers, Osprey Europe, have an office in Poole and have donated £2,000 to our appeal. A spokesperson said: “At Osprey Europe, we are committed to protecting our natural environment and are delighted to be able to support Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Urban Wildlink Appeal.”
A further donation of £15,000 has also been received by The Southern Co-op, who are corporate partners to DWT. Gemma Lacey, The Southern Co-operative’s Head of Sustainability, said: “The Southern Cooperative, which has fifteen food stores in Dorset, has a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability. We have been a corporate partner of Dorset Wildlife Trust for the past couple of years and our colleagues volunteer their time to support vital conservation work on the Trust’s reserves. As Dorset’s first urban living landscape Urban Wildlink will help protect and restore key wildlife habitats in the region, providing great opportunities for local people to get closer to wild spaces.”
Nicki Brunt, DWT’s Urban Wildlink project Officer said: “We really value support from local businesses and corporate partners in the local community. This exciting land purchase will protect some of our areas most special and diverse wildlife habitats, securing them for both wildlife and people for the future. Whether you work, live, visit or go to school in the area, we can all enjoy wildlife and use the green space around us.”
Urban Wildlink is a partnership project involving Dorset Wildlife Trust, the Erica Trust, Poole Harbour Commissioners, Borough of Poole, Dorset County Council Countryside Service and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust. Urban Wildlink has received Stage 1 approval and a development grant of £85,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and will be applying for £2.4 million later this year. A public appeal has been launched to raise the remaining £300,000.
This is a large project, with the local community at the heart of it, and we want to know what YOU think. If you want to find out more, we have an additional public consultation date on Wednesday 4th September at the Barrington Centre in Ferndown from 3-5.30pm or 7-8.30pm.