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New team kick-start Great Heath Project in Dorset

The new Great Heath Team (L-R) Katie Wilkinson, Bev Lagden, Nicky Hoar and Sally Wright © Sam Manning

Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) and partners have appointed a new team of wildlife experts and enthusiasts to help roll out ‘The Great Heath Living Landscape’ – one of the largest conservation projects in the East Dorset, Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area. 

Two Community Conservation Officers, Sally Wright and Katie Wilkinson, Access Ranger, Bev Lagden and Learning and Interpretation Officer, Nicky Hoar will all be out and about to meet local people at schools, wildlife events and offering volunteering activities in the area.  

The project, which has been awarded £2.7million HLF funding, and £2million from local fundraising, will link two outstanding areas of natural heritage from the Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area (NIA) to the New Forest National Park, with high quality access and interpretation to connect dozens of sites across the area.  

The Great Heath’s new Learning and Interpretation Officer, Nicky Hoar, said: “We are so pleased to be working on this exciting new project in Dorset, and we’re looking forward to meeting local people at our events and volunteering activities.  This project is a unique chance for us to help protect rare wildlife in Dorset, but also encourage local people to get involved and learn about the wildlife around them. – They may be surprised at what they find!”

The new team has also created a programme of events, with the first, ‘Summer birds of Brownsea’ taking place on Friday 20thJune from 11am – 1pm on Brownsea Island - ‘Britain’s Favourite Nature Reserve’* This is a chance to watch nationally important nesting sandwich terns up close on the Brownsea Island lagoon, and learn from experts about these fascinating birds.   

Boats from Poole or Sandbanks at 10am, meet at the public hide by the cormorant sculpture (100m from the quay).  There is no DWT charge but normal boat fares and National Trust admission charges apply.  For more information, please ring 01202 692033 or 01202 709445.  For all Great Heath events, and to sign up to the enewsletter, visit www.dorsetwildilfetrust.org.uk/tgh

*Brownsea Island has been voted Britain’s favourite nature reserve in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards, 2013.  The National Trust and Dorset Wildlife Trust have been working together in partnership for over 50 years to ensure Brownsea Island is managed for the benefit of wildlife and enjoyment of people

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