£300k needed for Dorset habitat restoration


Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has launched a public appeal to raise £300,000 to create and restore habitat through its Kingcombe's Wild Energy project.

Vulnerable species such as Grey Long-eared Bat and Marsh Fritillary are at risk of vanishing from Kingcombe NNR due to a lack of habitat surrounding the reserve.

Kingcombe NNR is known for Common Kingfishers and European Otters (Lee Fuller).

Natural England announced the creation of Kingcombe NNR in 2021. The 309-ha reserve comprises Kingcombe Meadows and neighbouring Powerstock Common.

The funds are needed to create corridors connecting different areas of habitat surrounding the NNR, as well as improving the habitat within the reserve. The aim is for a 5000-hectare network of connected habitats.

DWT said it would work with local landowners to encourage more sustainable land management by replanting hedgerows, creating meadows and creating routes along which animals can travel between sites.

Brian Bleese, Chief Executive of DWT, said: "Making the most of the abundance of species already found within the Kingcombe NNR, we can give wildlife the best possible opportunity to breed, feed, and move freely beyond boundaries, creating new connections over a massive area. Nature is capable of extraordinary recovery and by unleashing Kingcombe's wild energy, we'll be allowing it to do just that. Every single donation will help to create, restore and expand these natural habitats and achieve our ambitious vision of a Dorset rich in wildlife, valued and nurtured by everyone."

The plan is an integral part of DWT's strategy to achieve its vision of a wilder Dorset by 2030.

To donate to the Kingcombe's Wild Energy Appeal, visit dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/WildEnergy.