Connecting habitats, farms and wildlife across Purbeck.

The Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area (NIA) is a collaboration between a range of organisations including FWAG SouthWest. Under the NIA, the partners are working to conserve and enhance this renowned area of Dorset, helping it to reach its full economic and environmental potential.

The NIA is identifying opportunities for farmers and landowners to further protect or develop the environmental assets that make this one of the most bio-diverse areas of the UK.
To achieve this a range of projects are being implemented which will:

  • Restore habitats, particularly grasslands, wetlands and heathlands.
  • Protect water quality and reduce the level of diffuse pollution affecting Poole Harbour.
  • Preserve historic features.
  • Develop the ‘green’ economy and conservation products, such as venison.
  • Provide training for businesses and young people.

Due to the diverse partner organisations involved in the initiative there is a whole spectrum of specialist knowledge available. Whether you manage woodland, heathland, livestock or arable land, there is someone well suited to work with you to achieve your aims as part of the NIA.

FWAG SouthWest provides the link between the NIA and farmers and landowners within the Wild Purbeck area and can now offer free on-farm advice and funding from the NIA Partnership.

The advisers can also sign-post to experts from other organisations and will be reporting farmer input back to the NIA partnership. As part of the Wild Purbeck NIA, we are working with farmers to:

  • Seek opportunities to connect habitats across improved farmland.
  • Improve habitat availability for key farmland bird species, particularly Corn buntings and Grey partridge.
  • Develop new ELS and HLS agreements.
  • Implement existing HLS agreements, making amendments where required.
  • Create new woodlands within the Frome and Piddle catchments.
  • Diversify improved grassland to benefit wildlife, particularly insects, without compromising production.
  • Provide farmland bird and arable plant surveys carried out by skilled volunteers.

It may be that by making just small changes to your management or land-use you could help connect fragmented habitats, offering wildlife greater protection in an environment under ever-increasing pressures. The Wild Purbeck NIA covers much of the Purbeck district, shown on the map below and a google map is available here.

If you would like to become more involved with the NIA and the work that FWAG SouthWest is carrying out, please contact our local Farm Conservation Advisers at the Dorchester office on 01305 228913.

To find out more about The Wild Purbeck NIA see the AONB website here.

Wild Purbeck NIA is funded by Natural England and Defra.
The Wild Purbeck Partnership comprises: Dorset AONB, Dorset County Council, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Forestry Commission, FWAG SouthWest, Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team, Kingston Maurward College, Natural England, The National Trust and RSPB.
The Partnership is also working closely with the Environment Agency, the District Councils, Wessex Water, Perenco and the Woodland Trust.