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Sally Welbourn on why 2013 was a wild year for Dorset

PUBLISHED: 12:40 23 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:40 23 December 2013

Now extinct from Dorset the Small pearl bordered fritillary

Now extinct from Dorset the Small pearl bordered fritillary

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A worrying report revealed some Dorset species have become extinct this year and many more need help, says Sally Welbourn

The beautiful countryside, marine life and wildlife in Dorset are not a happy accident. Thanks to ongoing work by staff, members, volunteers and supporters, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has had a fruitful year working to ensure our reserves continue to prosper.

In 2013 we launched the State of Nature report which revealed the shocking news that some species in Dorset have dramatically declined, and in some cases, become extinct. So, DWT has a new sense of urgency, with communities helping us to record species found in gardens and local green spaces, and creating a haven for wildlife in gardens. It also enables DWT to monitor the state of nature in Dorset to decide how best to conserve it.

In May, we embarked on our most ambitious project to date with the launch of the development phase of the Great Heath Living Landscape, ‘Urban Wildlink’. Along with local authorities, landowners, businesses, other conservation organisations and public support, this project aims to purchase 581 hectares of land being sold by the Canford Estate in east Dorset. The aim is to create the first urban living landscape for local communities to enjoy and nurture wildlife.

Whilst some projects are just starting, others are coming to a close. DWT was delighted that Lord Coe officially opened the new Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre, at the heart of the Jurassic Coast world heritage site - and close to where the Olympic sailing events took place. Lord Coe said it was a “facility that is absolutely cast in Olympic Legacy for local communities.”

This last year has seen ever-more imaginative ways to help raise money for wildlife. October saw a team of dedicated runners donating over £2,500, as they conquered a variety of distances at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, Studland Stampede and the Iceland Reykjavik marathon. Between them, they ran 125.7 miles and went the extra mile for wildlife!

DWT is the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, if you’d like to help, see details of some of our projects on this page.

Sally Welbourn is the communications officer for DWT.

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If you are interested in helping us record wildlife, download your ‘Wildlife on Your Doorstep’ pack at dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/woyd.html. To find out more about wildlife friendly gardening visit dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk. Want to run for Dorset Wildlife Trust at the next Bournemouth Marathon? Visit run-bmf.com.

Looking for inspiration on how to help us? Click on dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/howyoucanhelp. For more about the Urban Wildlink project and to donate, visit dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk.

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A Christmas Gift for Wildlife Fans

This year, our membership has grown to over 26,000. This support is an invaluable source of income. If you are passionate about wildlife but don’t necessarily want to get covered in mud, we’ve launched our Christmas Gift Membership Scheme. Starting at just £32, your gift will include the latest DWT magazine, a nature reserves guide, events guide, car stickers and a free Dorset Wildlife Trust 2014 calendar. 
For more details contact the membership team on 01305 264620.

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