Swanage could soon have a new nature reserve at an area known as the Downs.
The process to achieve this got underway last summer, and now the views of local people are being sought.
The project is being undertaken by Swanage Town Council in partnership with Sustainable Swanage including a growing number of local volunteers. So far, they have been surveying and mapping the site for its habitats and wildlife as this has not been formally carried out here for many years.
Cllr Mike Bonfield says, “We are aware that many people currently use and have an interest in the Downs for a variety of purposes and we are keen to better understand what these may be. This way we can ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy this special place. We are also keen to help people get better connected to what makes the area special and share expertise within the community.”
A local group of people committed to being involved in the site will be set up as a ‘Friends Group’ which will seek to involve members from all age groups and areas of the town. The intention is to produce a comprehensive management policy to maximise the areas future biodiversity potential.
Swanage Town Council’s visitor services manager Culvin Milmer adds, “This project will enhance one of the most popular areas of town for both visitors and residents alike. Studies show that investment in green spaces increases responsible tourism, adding a much-needed boost to the town economy.”
This is just one of many projects that Sustainable Swanage is currently working on. Sarah Spurling from Sustainable Swanage says, “All of these projects are being put forward to help the town address the joint concerns of the climate crisis and the ecological crisis and enhance the environment for current and future generations. We also recognise the multiple additional benefits of building community and improving health and wellbeing in challenging times.”
The survey closes at midnight on Sunday 14 February. Full link to the survey is https://www.dorsetcoasthaveyoursay.co.uk/sustainable-swanage.
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