Poole Rough Sleepers Volunteer on Brownsea Island

In September two Routes to Roots’ clients, who are rough sleepers, joined a team of 15 volunteers to undertake ground clearing work on Brownsea Island for Dorset Wildlife Trust. They will be doing this work every Friday until Christmas.

Hopefully reading about these two rough sleepers will help to dispel the myth that all that homeless people do in Poole is to beg in the High Street. For these rough sleepers nothing could be further from the truth. 

After arriving at the quayside, the National Trust boat ferries them across to the island where they get stuck into building fences, cutting scrub and trees, re-gravelling tern island and making tern rafts. This last week they engaged in bracken bashing! A big thank you to Luke Johns from Dorset Wildlife Trust for giving these guys an experience neither of them want to end.  

The Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve is leased from the National Trust and has diverse habitats and wildlife, including a red squirrel population, with a large sheltered lagoon. It is particularly important for overwintering and summer breeding birds.Routes to Roots first worked with Dorset Wildlife Trust in 2009 to manage woodland habitats on Brownsea Island’s nature reserve. Much of the management required removing established rhododendron bushes, an alien and invasive species, which prevents the growth of other plants.

Susan Gittins