It has been announced today that Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) will receive over £180k of funding for the Portland Quarries Nature Park and the development of the Fine Foundation Marine Centre in Kimmeridge, thanks to the Coastal Communities Fund, part of the Big Lottery.
The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) encourages the economic development of UK coastal communities by giving funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs.
The Portland Quarries Nature Park is a network of important coastal sites, including the DWT Tout and Kingbarrow nature reserves. This funding will help establish the nature park as a year- round, high quality visitor attraction, benefitting local business and helping to create new jobs, as well as maintaining high quality habitat for wildlife and for local people to enjoy on their doorstop. The funding will help the project by making access improvements, development of local volunteers and contractors support and new information about Portland’s natural and cultural heritage.
The Kimmeridge ‘Welcome Hub’ will see the transformation of the Marine Centre in Kimmeridge into a gateway to the Marine Protected Area (MPA’s) in Purbeck and east Dorset. New innovative displays will update the current interpretation, including a 3D seabed, mapping data from the Dorset Integrated Seabed Mapping Survey (DORIS) to provide virtual access and enabling visitors to explore the seabed in a new and exciting way. A new seasonal engagement officer will also be employed to spend time with visitors and the local community to spread the marine conservation message.
DWT Director of Operations, Brian Bleese, said, “We are delighted to receive this funding. The natural and cultural heritage of Dorset is one of its greatest assets, but in places like Kimmeridge and Portland, it can often be hidden from view and overlooked. Projects like these will enhance these areas for the local people living there but also establish them as a high-quality visitor destination, helping the local economy to benefit from the natural environment in a sustainable way and enabling us to manage these special places for the benefit of wildlife and people.”
To Find out how to get involved with these projects, phone DWT on 01305 264620 for more information.