National Lottery visit celebrates The Great Heath Project success

Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has received a visit from Sir Peter Luff, the Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Stephen Boyce, Chair of the HLF South West Committee, and John Glen,Arts, Heritage and Tourism Minister, to celebrate the success of DWT’s National Lottery funded projects including The Great Heath Living Landscape and the Wildlife Skills training programme.

The group also met trainees on the Wildlife Skills programme that is funded by National Lottery players through HLF’s Skills for the Future initiative. Conservation staff then showed the visitors around some key sites within The Great Heath, including the Holes Bay Nature Park, Upton Heath nature reserve and Corfe Barrows Nature Park.

The Great Heath Living Landscape project received £2.7 million of National Lottery funding from HLF in 2014, enabling DWT and partners to purchase 1435 acres of land from the Canford Estate. This created a network of connected sites with high quality access and information boards for the public and provided a range of new opportunities for people to enjoy and learn about local wildlife.

Stephen Boyce, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West Committee, said,

“Heritage is so often thought to be just buildings and museums, but natural heritage, such as parks, landscapes and biodiversity programmes, play an important part in all our lives. Heritage will only be of value to people if it’s used by people, and to achieve this we must put people at the heart of the natural environment. We’re very grateful to National Lottery players, as this money has enabled us to make investments into projects like this [The Great Heath]which is a wonderful example of what can be achieved for people and wildlife.”

DWT Director of Operations, Brian Bleese, said, “The impact of National Lottery funding on our natural heritage as part of The Great Heath Living Landscape project, is enormous. Through this project, HLF has enabled DWT to secure many important heritage assets and to engage people of all backgrounds with nature on their doorstep in urban areas.”

Heritage Minister John Glen said: “The National Lottery funds amazing projects up and down the country and it was fantastic to see the positive impact it’s having on preserving Dorset’s natural heritage. The Great Heath Living is not only helping to conserve precious habitat but, through their dedicated volunteers and trainees, is also encouraging residents and visitors to learn more about this stunning landscape.”

The Great Heath project saw the launch of the Holes Bay Nature Park and the Corfe Barrows Nature Park in 2016.

To explore The Great Heath and find out how to get involved and find a nature reserve near you, visit


  1. (L-R) Nicki Brunt (DWT), Katie Wilkinson (DWT), Rob Brunt (DWT), Heritage Minister John Glen, Stephen Boyce (HLF Chair South West Committee), Nigel Webb (DWT President), Brian Bleese (DWT Director of Operations), Sir Peter Luff ( Chair of the Natural Heritage Memorial Fund and HLF), Simon Cripps (DWT Chief Executive), Nicky Hoar (DWT Learning and Interpretation Officer), Andy Fale (DWT Urban Heaths Reserve Officer)