Date: 24th June, 2016
The Urban Heaths Partnership is calling on everyone who regularly walks on the heathlands in the Bournemouth, East Dorset and Poole area to help them.
Dorset heathlands are threatened each year by fire and other damage, especially through the summer months. This can be caused by accident, recklessness and deliberately.
The Partnership is inviting all interested members of the public to a free Heath Watch information event, open to all age groups. The focus is the prevention of damage to the precious heathlands across Dorset and how those who regularly use these sites can help protect them without having to commit extra time.
There will be presentations from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Dorset Police, local heathland site managers and the Dorset Urban Heaths Grazing Partnership.
At the end of the event, there will be a guided walk around the Stour Local Nature Reserve grazing area.
The event is being held between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 16 July at the Kingfisher Barn, Granby Road, Muscliffe, Bournemouth, BH9 3NZ.
To find out more and book a place, please call 01202 642787 or email [email protected]
Most heathlands in Dorset have national and international conservation designations to protect the rare habitat and wildlife supported by them.
The Urban Heaths Partnership (UHP) comprises of 14 organisations, including Dorset Police, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, local authorities, Natural England, Dorset Wildlife Trust, the Amphibians and Reptiles Conservation Trust, the National Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Forestry Commission.
The UHP works to protect and enhance Dorset’s heathland work collectively, to maintain the county’s precious natural landscape, by carrying out education programmes and proactive prevention activity in schools, the community and on heathlands.
Paul Attwell, team manager at the Urban Heaths Partnership, said: “We welcome everyone who can dedicate a small amount of their time to helping protect these precious areas. If you would like to join us in our mission to protect our beautiful environment, then we would very much like to hear from you. “
Gaynor Mant, community safety education officer from Dorset &Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, added: “The training we give volunteers is about providing information on the best way to report what they see, and the information the emergency services need to respond to incidents as quickly as possible.”
Residents and visitors to heathlands are asked to follow some simple steps:
- If you are on a heath when a fire occurs please leave by the nearest exit and call 999 with as much information as possible.
- You can also help by reporting any anti-social behaviour on the heaths either to the wardens or to the police on 101.
- Remember, it is not safe to light barbecues or camp fires on any heathland site.
- Do not ride motorbikes on the heath – it causes irreparable damage to the land and wildlife.