top of page

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.

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


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

Prof James Lovelock


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

Jon Snow

Broadcaster, Cycling UK President

Please reload

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 recognises the outstanding qualities of Dorset’s natural environment, especially its wild areas, and the potential to protect and enhance these through a National Park designation.  National Parks help to connect people with nature.  Each year, they provide the setting for discovery, exploration and conservation for the many individuals who complete their John Muir Awards around the UK.  By upholding their aims with ambition, working in partnership for landscape scale restoration, National Parks can help wild nature in England to recover and thrive.  The Trust supports this campaign for all that it offers the people of Dorset and those who visit.

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.


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

Please reload

Towns and Parish 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
Corscombe, Halstock & District Parish Council

Langton Matravers Parish Council

Litton Cheney Parish Council

Lyme Regis Town Council

Milborne St Andrew Parish Council

Moreton Parish Council

Portland Town Council

Puddletown Area Parish Council

Pulham Parish Council

Studland Parish Council

Sturminster Newton Town Council

Swanage Town Council

Wareham Town Council

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council (pre-LG reorganisation)

Wool Parish Council

...and many more local councils

Dorset County Council


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.

The Dorset and East Devon National Park Team

Our Patrons

Professor Michael Dower CBE    -    Julian, Lord Fellowes    -    Edward Fox

Our Team


The Team includes the following. Members are not representatives of organisations noted against their names.

Alan Darrant – Sid Vale Association, East Devon
Barrie Mayes – Chair Langton Matravers CLT 
Bob Foster – Chair, Swanage & Purbeck Development Trust
Colin Brixton – Purbeck Society
Colin Nunn – Dorset Wildlife Trust, Purbeck
Collette Drayson – Board member of Langton Matravers CLT, a member of Planet Purbeck 
David Brown – Ecologist and Landscape Partnerships Manager, National Trust 

David Tucker – Museum Director, Lyme Regis, West Dorset
Dr Danielle Wootton – University Lecturer, West Dorset
Deirdre Flegg – Dorset Long Distance Walkers’ Association
Dr Denise Hewlett – University Lecturer
Doug Pigg – Portland Island Community Action
Douglas Tweddle – Business and Economy
Dr Tony Fincham – former Chair, Thomas Hardy Society 
Gerald Rigler – Chair, Purbeck & Poole CPRE
Dr Guy Dickinson – Retired GP, West Dorset
Helen Mann – National Trust 
Ian Duckworth – Naturalist, Dorset CAN, Planet Purbeck, retired environmental educator and manager
Jane Lewis – Purbeck
Janet Watts – Writer 
Jim Smylie – West Dorset, former Executive Director, Natural England 
John Holiday – Dorset CPRE, North Dorset
Dr John Larkin – Minerals and Waste Adviser, Dorset CPRE 
Julian Sawyer – Wildlife photographer
Julien Turner – North Dorset
Keith Southern – Purbeck National Trust Association
Linda Poulsen – Dorset CPRE, West Dorset, former museum education professional
Lindsay Carrington – Ecologist
Mari Larthe – Lawyer
Mike Childs – Naturalist and walker
Mike White – Chairboy Marketing & Design Services
Mike Whitwam – Swanage Heritage Railway Trust, former Councillor, Purbeck District Council
Nick Cake – former Councillor, Purbeck District Council
Nicola Daniel – Otter Valley Association, East Devon
Dr Paul Kelly – Public Health, Weymouth
Paul Loudoun – Farmer, Wilkswood Farm and Farm Shop
Peter Anderson – Software Engineer, Wool
Peter Bowyer – Dorset CPRE
Peter Neal – The Sherborne and District Society
Dr Philip Mansel – Smedmore Estate
Renny Henderson – RSPB
Richard Brown – Trustee, Purbeck Art Weeks Festival
Richard Bradford – Trees and Hedgerow enthusiast, Dorchester
Richard Ely – Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, East Devon
Richard Heaslip – East Dorset
Richard Nichols – former Chair, Dorset CPRE
Dr Rob Jayne – Film Maker and Mental Health professional, West Dorset
Rob Waitt – Dorset CAN, Planet Purbeck
Rodney Alcock – Archaeologist, former Museum Curator and Conservator, West Dorset   
Sandra Brown – former Chair of the Council/Campaign for National Parks
Stephen Larcombe – Lawyer, West Dorset
Steve Etches – Head of Collections, The Etches Collection, Kimmeridge Museum
Tim Arnold – Businessperson and Chair, Purbeck Youth Music
Zoey Ingarfield - Business person and coordinator of report on Youth Engagement

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

The work of the Team is funded by its members.

bottom of page