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New report reveals the natural value of Dorset

Marine Survey © Peter Tinsley

The release of a new report: ‘Natural Value: The State of Dorset’s Environment’, which explores what Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole are doing to protect and manage Dorset’s environment, was launched at a conference at the Lighthouse in Poole on Thursday 2nd October.

After many years of planning, this new report is published by Dorset’s Local Nature Partnership, (LNP) and seeks to answer questions such as: Is Dorset as green as we think it is, or should be?  Is it getting better or worse, and how does Dorset compare to the rest of the UK, or even the world?  Issues such as recycling rates, development pressure, the extent of protected areas and how much outdoor exercise we get is covered by this ground-breaking exposéof life in Dorset.

Chair of Dorset’s Local Nature Partnership (LNP) Dr Simon Cripps said, “This report is long overdue but it has taken a huge amount of work by the many partners forming the LNP.  It shows as you might expect that Dorset has an unparalleled natural heritage that is worth billions of pounds each year in income, but it is very fragile and has been badly damaged in the past.  We must better learn how to look after this goose that lays the gold eggs so that we can achieve valuable growth and development, but not at the cost of the very environment which sustains it.”

The report has revealed some striking facts and figures about Dorset, including:

  • 76 of the county’s important nature conservation sites have been lost since just 2005.
  • Otters have now recolonised almost all of Dorset’s rivers.
  • 2.8% of our county’s 11,000 irreplaceable heritage assets are at risk.  
  • Tourism is worth around £1.44 billion to Dorset each year and 12% of jobs, both of which are almost entirely dependent on our natural environment.
  • We recycle more than the national average waste.
  • Outdoor exercise could cut down on NHS spend on drugs and obesity.
  • Over 25.8% of our coastal waters are in some way now protected.

The report can be downloaded from www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/naturalvaluereport and from partner organisation websites.

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