NIA grant awarded: £626,363
Additional resources provided by this NIA: £1,491,782
This is a very special area for wildlife, including the 10km square with the greatest diversity of plant species in the country.
Progress from Year One of the NIA can be found in this summary: (163kb).
With internationally important heathlands, Poole Harbour, Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, valley wetlands and much more, the outstanding natural heritage is a huge asset and a large reason why people live in, work in and visit the area. It is facing increasing pressures, however: sea level rise will affect much of the low-lying area around Poole Harbour and the water in the Harbour is eutrophic; the number of visitors to this area increases year-on-year; some heathlands are afforested, all are vulnerable to fire; numbers of grazing animals are in decline as are farmland biodiversity indicators; a large proportion of the area is under agri-environment schemes nearing expiry.
The Wild Purbeck Partnership comprises Dorset AONB, Dorset County Council, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Forestry Commission, FWAG SW, Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team, Kingston Maurward College, Natural England, National Trust and RSPB. The Partnership will work closely with Environment Agency, District Councils, Wessex Water, Perenco, and Woodland Trust.
Wild Purbeck NIA will mean, by 2020
the areas natural assets are richer and more resilient to changes
there is more natural function in the landscape - for example rivers are re-connected with flood plain and catchment
plans are in place to enable people and wildlife to adapt to sea level rise around Poole Harbour
the landscape contributes more strongly to the local economy, particularly around sustainable tourism and products from land and sea; those industries also contribute strongly to that landscape
communities and businesses from both within and outside the area understand the importance their contributions make
a landscape where the connections between the natural world and human activity are understood and celebrated
The Wild Purbeck partnership will:
B. Land management and advisory services
Integrated land management support and advice, providing opportunities and information for increasing the economic and environmental sustainability of farm businesses. A small grants scheme will provide for works that can help environmental enhancement where Environmental Stewardship cannot. We will also target a number of potential big sites, for example to expand heathland grazing. We will also work to promote greater coordination in deer management.
C. Forward planning, research and monitoring
Gathering and bringing together best data (including spectacular old archives) to make sure we understand what we’re working with and the pressures on it. For example, it will include a visitor management plan and a fire management strategy for the area. This will make the most of the area’s potential with a focus on value for money, enabling effective targeting of advice and support.
D. Green economy and skills
The partnership will:
E. Efficiency through partnership
The Wild Purbeck partnership is committed to cost-effective delivery. This is essential in the current financial climate; already the group has identified potential savings through closer and more joined-up working.
Delivery of the Wild Purbeck NIA objectives has been progressing well over the first year of the project. Land management & advisory work has included various training days, surveys and Higher Level Scheme management advice given to farmers within the NIA area.
Work in the community has been moving quickly with Past Arts securing additional funding, and the Community Gateway engaging new audiences with a number of events including wildlife gardening and “Bioblitz” wildlife recording days. Enhancing the natural environment around the Wareham Children’s centre is also underway with partners linking up to deliver various elements.
Landscape permeability mapping has been carried out across the Wild Purbeck NIA resulting in a report enabling the land managing community to be better informed in ecological management and a training programme that can be rerun at intervals. The AONB and Frome Piddle areas also been mapped.
As a result of the Wild Purbeck NIA there have been seven job opportunities throughout the project partners and over 180 volunteer days imputed so far into the project.
For further information contact Alison Turnock; Alisonturnock@purbeck-dc.gov.uk