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The Great Heath project Dorset

Updated: 10th July 2014

Read about The Great Heath project at www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk

Canford Estate land purchased in 2014

A total of £4.7 million of funding bought 20 lots (almost 1500 acres) of the Canford Estate for the benefit of people and wildlife - including high heritage value heathland, grassland, woods and wetland.

The areas purchased include Lytchett Bay, Upton Heath, Holes Bay, Parley Common and Ferndown Common. These sites provide habitats for many rare and threatened species, including the Dartford Warbler and all six UK reptiles, including the nationally rare smooth snake and sand lizard.

Purchase of this land in 2014 represents the first step in a three year project to engage with the public to create new opportunities for people to enjoy our wonderful outside spaces, and learn new skills by volunteering to help conserve the natural environment.

The project will link two outstanding areas of natural heritage; the New Forest National Park to the Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area (NIA), with high quality access and interpretation to connect dozens of sites across the area.

New ‘Living Landscapes’ in Poole

Through the work of the Great Heath Living Landscape project Dorset acquired Poole has acquired three new areas of open spaces totalling 67 acres (27 ha) in the Broadstone and Merley area:

Other Great Heath sites in Poole

Other Great Heath Living Landscapes sites include Holes Bay Nature Park, Upton Heath Nature Reserve, Corfe Barrows Nature Park & Lytchett Bay Nature Reserve.

Access & Engagement

Now the land has been purchased further funds are required to enable DWT to complete the ‘access and engagement’ phase of this project, creating hundreds of new opportunities for people to enjoy and help conserve the natural environment.

This work will not be limited to the new land bought from Canford Estate but will include current sites such as Ham Common, Canford Heath, Castleman Trailway, Delph Woods, Bourne Valley, Talbot Heath and Upton County Park.

Donate to this project at the The Great Heath fundraising page

Discover more about the project at the Dorset Wildlife Trust website

News of the HLF award at www.hlf.org.uk/news

The Great Heath map

The Great Heath map

The Great Heath Living Landscape is a partnership of conservation organisations and local authorities, led by Dorset Wildlife Trust, that have come together to make the project a reality.

The partnership includes Borough of Poole, Poole Harbour Commissioners, Dorset County Council Countryside Services, the Erica Trust and Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust. The project is supported by Bournemouth Borough Council, Christchurch Borough Council, East Dorset District Council and Natural England.

The Great Heath

The Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) Urban Wildlink project in 2013 has led to one of the UK’s most exciting and ambitious conservation projects; to develop an urban ‘living landscape’ across south-east Dorset.

Hundreds of people provided views and advice and through consultation the Living Landscape was named ‘The Great Heath’ reflecting the human and natural history of the area.

This project is led by Dorset Wildlife Trust, with the Borough of Poole a key partner

Project Objectives

The Great Heath is a historical name for the vast heath that used to stretch from Purbeck to the New Forest - much of which has now disappeared through urban development.