BROWNSEA Island’s lagoon is to be restored as part of a major grant for the county’s wetland and meadows. 

Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Making Space for Nature project is one of 20 conservation projects across the UK which will each receive a share of a £25m government scheme. 

The county branch of the trust will create and revitalise more than 500 hectares of habitats, including woodlands and ponds across 18 sites in Dorset.  

The Species Survival Fund is aimed at helping to halt and reverse the decline in species abundance by preserving vital habitats and creating nature-rich landscapes.  

Bournemouth Echo: The lagoonThe lagoon (Image: Dorset Wildlife Trust)

Projects include a brand-new nature reserve at Lyscombe, Brownsea Island Lagoon, recently acquired meadow land at Kingcombe National Nature Reserve and near West Holme.  

The project will restore meadows, wetlands, and orchards and create wood pasture, grasslands, and ponds. All these habitats will drive species recovery. 

Andrew Pollard, Dorset Wildlife Trust’s director of conservation, said: “Our vision for this project is to create thriving biodiversity hubs which will increase the abundance of wildlife species across Dorset. 

“Nearly 400 hectares of this land has little or no wildlife interest currently and so when it is restored, it will help form new nature recovery networks through the county.  

“The funding will enable us to develop our land management services through which we advise and support neighbouring farmers and landowners with the aim of helping nature to recover, not just on our nature reserves but across the whole landscape.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Brownsea Island lagoonBrownsea Island lagoon (Image: Dorset Wildlife Trust)

Four new full-time jobs, plus two traineeship opportunities, will be created as part of the projects. 

Brian Bleese, Dorset Wildlife Trust’s chief executive, added he would like to hear from people who “want to make a difference for nature and the environment”. 

The project will also use locally based contractors for much of the habitat restoration work helping to maintain and strengthen countryside skills. There will be interesting volunteer opportunities and many ways in which local communities can get involved. 

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “The funding awarded as part our flagship Species Survival Fund will enable local authorities, landowners, farmers, and our protected landscapes organisations to restore nature at scale and provide valuable green jobs in the process.  

“Only by creating bigger and better habitats for wildlife will we be able to halt the alarming decline in species loss.  

“This fund will be a key plank in achieving our legally binding targets to halt species loss and protect 30 per cent land for nature by 2030.”