Dorset National Park Proposal - Team and Partners

 

The following organisations have expressed an interest in the Dorset National Park proposal and evaluation.

Dorset National Park - Interested Organisations

 

Many organisations have expressed their interest in the Dorset National Park proposal and evaluation including the following.

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Expressions of Interest and Support

 

Many individuals including Dorset, District, Parish and Town Councillors have expressed

their support for the proposed National Park. Expressions of support include:

We were delighted when the Jurassic Coast became Britain’s first and only natural World Heritage Site – a well-deserved honour. Becoming a National Park is the logical next step in valuing and safeguarding this area’s fabulous natural assets.

Prof Dennis Brunsden

Geomorphologist, initiator of Jurassic Coast World Heritage designation

This is a great opportunity and well-deserved recognition for the Dorset and East Devon landscape and heritage. National Park status would attract visitors and bring new funding opportunities. We would benefit from a more joined-up and sensitive approach to valuing and caring for our world-class environment. The area narrowly missed designation as a National Park after the Second World War. This second chance must not be missed.

Edward Fox

Actor

The proposed National Park has an important part to play in protecting Dorset and the Jurassic Coast.

Prof James Lovelock

Author

Life is like a cake. This area is one of the cherries on the icing on the cake.

Jon Snow

Broadcaster, Cycling UK President

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The Camping and Caravanning Club welcomes the continuing evaluation of the Dorset National Park and the opportunity for outdoor activities to support communities and the rural economy through sustainable tourism opportunities. National Park status will conserve and enhance the environment for all to enjoy, promote recreation, health and well-being, and the enjoyment and understanding of the special qualities of the area while fostering the economic and social wellbeing of their communities.

Camping and Caravanning Club

The John Muir Trust understands the high environmental qualities of Dorset and the potential to demonstrate the value of these and to enhance them. In particular, there is great scope to work at a landscape scale to support wildlife and to provide opportunities for people to experience the countryside. For many in communities around special landscapes, their cultural heritage and identity is entwined with the surrounding landscape and wildlife - through land use and management, art and literature. The educational and recreational resources of natural landscapes must continue to be available to present and future generations, young and old alike.  The designation of a National Park could bring recognition of this potential. The Trust wishes the Dorset National Park campaign well in their endeavour. 

John Muir Trust

The Thomas Hardy Society is fully supportive of the Dorset National Park proposal and looks forward to Natural England’s further assessment.

We are particularly interested in preserving Hardy’s landscape and in the encouragement of heritage tourism, which includes Hardy’s landscape and the town of Dorchester, as well as what remains of ‘Egdon Heath.’  The towns of Portland and Sturminster Newton, which are currently outside this area and have of course strong Hardy links, also wish to be included.  A Dorset National Park will have a very positive effect for the Hardy Society.

The Thomas Hardy Society

The T E Lawrence Society is delighted to give its full support to the proposed Dorset National Park, whose designation is long overdue. We look forward to Natural England’s further evaluation of the proposal and ask them to recognise Dorset’s outstanding cultural heritage – of which T E Lawrence and Thomas Hardy are part - with the associated, internationally important, recreational opportunities.

 

We are particularly pleased that the area suggested for the National Park includes what remains of Thomas Hardy’s “Egdon Heath”. It was here that T E Lawrence found peace and solitude in his isolated cottage “Clouds Hill”. The village cemetery of nearby Moreton has Lawrence’s grave, and it was here that his almost “state” funeral was attended by Winston Churchill and others. The suggested National Park area could also include Wareham, where the Saxon church of St Martin holds a fine effigy of Lawrence. Lawrence was a frequent visitor to Wareham, a charming Georgian town set within the best surviving Saxon walls in England, and the town museum presents an interesting T. E. Lawrence exhibition, while the library holds the Society’s research collection. 

T.E. Lawrence Society

The Dorset Coast is rich in biodiversity and is just as special for its important heritage and use by local populations. We need to make people aware of its special nature both above and below the waves. The Marine Conservation Society supports the proposal to grant the area National Park status, and we are pleased that the proposal is being considered in anticipation of plans being taken a step forward.

The Marine Conservation Society

The young carers who visit My Time's centre in Purbeck experience and enjoy the physical and mental wellbeing and health benefits of this stunning landscape. We welcome the opportunities which a Dorset National Park could offer to care for and promote enjoyment of this very special area, and to encourage and enable young carers and others to benefit from access to it.

My Time – the charity for young carers

On behalf of the Purbeck Society, I am pleased to write in support of this application.

This special area … is of exceptional landscape, biodiversity, cultural and historical quality and importance, and …  was considered to be of National Park quality and deserving NP designation in key reports in 1945 and 1947. A National Park on the basis proposed would, the Society believes, have economic, social and environmental benefits to the area as a whole… A National Park would protect geology, landscapes and habitats; the increased connectivity thus provided would help to enable designations across Southern and South West England collectively to deliver crucial national objectives in line with Natural England’s Designations Strategy …. Dorset’s natural beauty, varied geology, landscapes and habitats support a great diversity of wildlife, including species not found elsewhere; one 10kms grid square in Purbeck contains more species than any other 10kms square in the country …

The economic benefits of a National Park in terms of supporting the rural economy as well as tourism are important now and for the future of the area.

The Purbeck Society

I have been asked to respond on behalf of the Ramblers and provide the following message of support for the National Park proposal. Campaigns for stronger protection and greater resources for stunning landscapes and important walking areas are of course welcomed by the Ramblers.

Ramblers Association

We are a major stakeholder in both Dorset and East Devon, owning and managing nature reserves, as well as seeking to influence wider land use and management to the benefit of nature conservation…. in both counties, enthusiastically engaged in protecting and enhancing the wonderful natural history of the area whilst promoting responsible access.

We would welcome warmly measures that delivered additional protection for biodiversity whilst promoting access, and we strongly support the concept of ‘joined up conservation;’ landscape scale conservation is very much at the centre of RSPB’s strategic thinking. A new Dorset and East Devon National Park could assist in delivering this. We welcome and applaud your energy in taking this forward. 

RSPB South West Region

I write on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in support of the proposed creation of a National Park for Dorset and East Devon.

 

We see great merit in the creation of a National Park in this area. In addition to the World Heritage Coast and the Dorset and East Devon AONBs, the area has much that is significant to the built historic environment. Historic towns of special interest include Corfe Castle, Cerne Abbas and Bridport, and in addition monuments such as Maiden Castle are of national importance. Also notable and distinctive are the Purbeck and Portland stones which are important to the character of historic buildings within the locality and in other parts of the UK. National Park status would add to the protection, appreciation and sustainable development of the area.

SPAB

The Woodland Trust promotes the need for a positive conservation approach to managing whole ecosystems, landscapes and catchments and the creation and management of woodlands and trees is key to this.  There is clearly a strong historic and cultural context in Dorset for woodlands and trees within a rich mosaic of habitats.   Woods and trees have played a pivotal role which can readily be strengthened.  Future landscapes will need to evolve with refreshed approaches to woodland and land management which will need to respond to the many pressures and opportunities before us.

 

In this context, the Woodland Trust recognises the opportunities which a National Park could offer for the conservation, enhancement and enjoyment of Dorset’s woodlands and trees, and for enhancing the role of woodlands and trees in Dorset’s communities, economy and cultural life.

The Woodland Trust

The proposed National Park in Dorset offers local communities opportunities and benefits for the economy, environment and heritage. I am happy to join the growing number of people who look forward to the further evaluation of this proposal.

The Bishop of Salisbury

Once you are bitten by the Dorset bug, you just want to be here more and more. We have absolutely fallen in love with this wonderful area and wish you every success with your endeavours to secure a Dorset National Park.

Martin & Philippa Clunes

My father John Dower wrote the official report on National Parks in England and Wales, published in 1945, and was a leading member of the Hobhouse Committee.   In his report, my father stated that the Dorset Coast and Heaths merited consideration as a National Park.   The Hobhouse Committee endorsed that judgement, but – for reasons specific to the time – did not include Dorset in their short-list for early action.   I have myself served as Director of the Peak National Park, and as Director-General of the Countryside Commission.   I now live in Beaminster, West Dorset…. I believe that a Dorset National Park could have a positive social, economic and environmental impact parallel to that now being realised by the South Downs National Park.  I wholeheartedly support the proposal.

Professor Michael Dower CBE

Dorset is a very special county, not least because of its association with the life and times of Thomas Hardy, who took his inspiration from the towns and villages and open country around Dorchester and beyond, and whose story is still there to be seen by the interested visitor.

 

Wild Egdon Heath was a particular favourite of his, because it was just that, wild.  "The great inviolate place had an ancient permanence which the sea cannot claim…  The sea changed, the fields changed, the rivers, the villages and the people changed yet Egdon remained."

 

The question is, of course, how much longer will it remain if we are not careful?  How much longer will the villages of Hardy's early years, or the views that greeted him as a world-famous author, how much longer will any of this survive, if the area does not wake up to the great responsibility of protecting these sites so that they may be enjoyed by future generations?  Hardy would surely want us to conserve and enhance these very special places and the cultural heritage that is entwined in our landscapes and communities, and so should we all. To live here is a great privilege, and this brings with it a duty to protect his story and look after and pass on to future generations what we should all hold so dear. 

Lord (Julian) Fellowes

I can think of no area in the country that more clearly and richly deserves to be a National Park. A Dorset National Park would offer a more joined-up and sensitive approach to valuing and caring for this world-class environment and sea-scape here at the heart of Southern England. The area narrowly missed designation after the Second World War. This second chance must not be missed. It would be a fitting legacy in the 70th year of the National Parks Act for Dorset to at last secure the recognition it deserves. I urge you to encourage Natural England to be bold and make speedy progress on an opportunity that would be wonderful for Dorset and for England. I am one hundred per cent behind this initiative.

Edward Fox

The proposed National Park has an important part to play in protecting Dorset and the Jurassic Coast.

Prof James Lovelock

Areas need increasingly to differentiate themselves. The Dorset National Park proposal is an interesting initiative which could offer differentiation, marketing and branding opportunities for Dorset’s economy, including tourism and local producers.

Lord (Jim) O’Neill

Life is like a cake. This area is one of the cherries on the icing on the cake

Jon Snow

I'm in full agreement with the proposal for a Dorset National Park to conserve the largely unprotected area east of Dorchester and give my full support. It is important that the Thomas Hardy sites together with the surrounding area are preserved for future generations.

Minette Walters

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Local Councils

 

Growing numbers of local councils and communities have expressed interest in the Dorset National Park proposal, including the following:

Arne Parish Council
Beaminster Town Council
Bridport Town Council
Char Valley PC
Chideock Parish Council​
Corfe Castle Parish Council
Corfe Mullen Parish Council
Langton Matravers Parish Council
Lyme Regis Town Council
Moreton Parish Council
Portland Town Council
Pulham Parish Council
Studland Parish Council
Sturminster Newton Town Council
Swanage Town Council
Wareham Town Council
Weymouth & Portland Council
Wool Parish Council
...and many more local councils

 

The former Dorset County Council in 2016 asked its Economic Growth Overview & Scrutiny Committee to consider the proposal for a Dorset and East Devon National Park. It took oral evidence and had a full paper from officers. The Minutes of that meeting record: “In thanking the local group for bringing the issue to their attention, the Committee acknowledged the principle of establishing a National Park across Dorset and the perceived economic and environmental benefits this would bring and agreed that the matter should remain under consideration.

It resolved: That the Committee notes the proposal for the establishment of a Dorset and East Devon National Park and the evidence assembled in relation to this and agrees to keep the matter under review. Reason for Recommendation: The proposal for a National Park could potentially support the County Council’s corporate outcomes in relation to a healthy and prosperous Dorset…..” This resolution was subsequently endorsed by the full council.

Dorset County Council

The Dorset and East Devon National Park Team

 

The Team is composed of many individuals across the National Park area, including the following:

Members are not representatives of organisations noted against their names.

Alan Darrant – Sid Vale Association, East Devon

Barrie Mayes – Purbeck

Bob Foster – Chair, Swanage & Purbeck Development Trust

Charles Miller – Consultant Engineer

Colin Brixton – Purbeck Society

Colin Nunn – Dorset Wildlife Trust

Collette Drayson – Parish Councillor

David Tucker – Museum Director, Lyme Regis, West Dorset

Deirdre Flegg – Dorset Long Distance Walkers’ Association

Don Nutt – Sustainable Transport, Dorset Local Access Forum

Doug Pigg – Portland

Douglas Tweddle – Business and Economy

Dr Danielle Wootton – University Lecturer, West Dorset

Dr Denise Hewlett –  University Lecturer

Dr Guy Dickinson – Retired GP, West Dorset

Dr John Larkin – Dorset CPRE Trustee, Minerals and Waste Adviser, Purbeck

Dr Paul Kelly – Public Health, Weymouth

Dr Philip Mansel – Smedmore Estate

Dr Rob Jayne – Film-Maker and Mental Health, West Dorset

Gerald Rigler – Chair, Purbeck & Poole CPRE

Helen Mann – National Trust

​Ian Duckworth – Retired environmental educator and manager

Jane Lewis – Purbeck

Janet Watts – Writer, formerly BBC

John Holiday – Chair, Dorset CPRE Forum, North Dorset

John Newman – The Sherborne and District Society

Julian Sawyer – Wildlife photographer

Julien Turner – North Dorset

Keith Southern – Purbeck National Trust Association

Laurie Clark – General Manager, NT Purbeck Estate

Lindsay Carrington – Ecologist

Mari Larthe – Lawyer, Dorset and UK

Mike White – Chairboy Marketing & Design Services

Mike Whitwam – Councillor, Purbeck District Council, Swanage Town Council; Swanage Heritage Railway Trust

Nick Cake –  Wareham Hemsbach Society; former Councillor, Purbeck District Council

Nicola Daniel – Otter Valley Association, East Devon

Paul Loudoun – Farmer, Wilkswood Farm and Farm Shop

Peter Anderson – Software Engineer, Wool

Peter Bowyer – Chair, Studland Parish Council

Peter Neal – Chair, The Sherborne and District Society

Renny Henderson – RSPB

Rev Handel Bennett – Sid Vale Association, East Devon

Richard Brown –Trustee, Purbeck Art Weeks Festival

Richard Ely – Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, East Devon

Richard Heaslip – East Dorset

Richard Nichols – Chair, Dorset CPRE

Sandra Brown – former Chair of the Council/Campaign for National Parks

Steve Etches – Head of Collections, The Etches Collection, Kimmeridge Museum

William Gueterbock – West Dorset

The Dorset & East Devon National Park is a Community Interest Company (CIC).

The work of the Team is funded by its members.