Meeting those passionate about Dorset’s wildlife
PUBLISHED: 11:54 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:54 28 February 2017
Passionate about Dorset’s flora and fauna? Then you are part of growing band of fans, including some famous names, that relish this wild relationship, says Sally Welbourn of Dorset Wildlife Trust
Sally Fear - The Great Heath Community Conservation Officer
I love wildlife because it’s exciting to watch – whether it’s a group of electric blue damselflies zooming around a pond, or a million-strong starling murmuration - both are doing what they’ve been doing for a million years due to instinct perfectly honed by evolution…it’s wonderful to witness!
Steve Backshall - Wildlife presenter and naturalist
Dorset is one of the absolute hot spots for wildlife in the UK. I’ve had the great privilege of going out on a reptile ramble with Steve Davis from Dorset Wildlife Trust, and we saw every species of British reptile, including male sand lizards in all their glory! That is something really special. I still get a kick out of seeing adders even now, and I grew up on the Surrey heaths.
Simon King OBE - Wildlife expert, TV presenter and cameraman, President of the Wildlife Trusts
Simon King has been restoring Wild Meadows, his 10 acre home patch in Somerset for more than three years. By planting trees, digging a lake, and sowing wildflowers, he is showing how quickly wildlife like otters, badgers and tawny owls can return given the right environment.
Laura McLellan - Supporter Care Officer
I am addicted to the Dorset coast! Whenever I’m by the sea it makes me feel alive. I have walked hundreds of miles along the ‘welly zone’ all along the English Channel; from the top of Cornwall to Beachy Head in East Sussex. What makes Dorset’s coastline unique is the Jurassic Coast spanning millions of years of geological time and providing a special place for wildlife.
Sir David Attenborough - Broadcaster and naturalist and President Emeritus of The Wildlife Trusts
Sir David Attenborough has travelled the world in search of wild spaces. But much closer to home, he can explore the hidden woodland at Crane Park Island in London, discover stag beetles flying in his garden and marvel at ancient trees in London’s parks.
Katie Wilkinson - The Great Heath Community Conservation Officer
I particularly love the ‘Happy Bottom’ part of Corfe Barrows Nature Park. It has such a sense of tranquillity and peace with some great wildlife, yet is set in a semi-urban (‘rurban’) location. It is a remnant nod to what the area would’ve looked like in the past with open grasslands and woodland. It is special for me as it became the first site where I found a harvest mouse, and the first DWT has recorded on the site!
Maurits Fontein - DWT West Dorset Land Management Officer
I love the huge range of habitats with their different assemblages of species of fauna and flora like chalk downland at Fontmell Down, hay meadows, old green lanes with ancient hedges all found at Kingcombe Meadows. I especially like bogs and mires on Kingcombe and on the heathlands like Winfrith and Tadnoll. You can visit these places and lose yourself in what is going on.
Emma Rance - DWT Marine Conservation Officer
In 2010 I encountered two spiny seahorses whilst diving off the Dorset coast. It was the most wonderful experience, they are such delicate creatures which are very hard to see and it made me feel very protective of them. It still stands out as my best dive.
Briony Baxter - DWT Community Conservation Officer
Since I was little I’ve loved watching the birds in my garden. I’ve always put out food for them wherever I’ve lived which means that they become quite tame. I think it’s the fact that they are wild creatures and I have no control over what they do that I love most, they grace my garden in return for a little food and bring the place alive. Even when the weather prevents me getting out and doing some gardening I still feel as if I’m in contact with nature through watching the birds as I snuggle up inside.
Harry Redknapp - DWT Supporter
Playing football, I’ve spent my whole life outside. I’m in my garden everyday, it doesn’t matter what time it is in the morning, even if it’s half past five, I get out and make sure the bird feeders are full for the early arrivals.
• Rare birds to spot at Poole Harbour - Paul Morton, founder of the Birds of Poole Harbour, reveals the thousands of rare feathered residents you can see in this remarkably urban environment