Nature fair promotes the wilder side of Wareham

Wild Wareham is to be placed in the spotlight at a fair aimed at giving Purbeck residents an insight into all the natural wonders on their doorstep.

Sustainable Wareham has organised a nature and wildlife fair at Wareham Town Hall from 10 am to 12 noon on Saturday 22nd April 2023 to showcase some of the charities and organisations who are highlighting all that is naturally perfect about Purbeck.

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The pair of white tailed eagles have been spotted in reed beds near Wareham
MARK WRIGHT

White tailed eagles have made their home along the Wareham Channel

Wild Purbeck approach to restore the landscape

Topics being explored will include the UK’s first super national nature reserve on the Purbeck heaths, plans to reintroduce wild beavers at Studland, wild ospreys breeding here for the first time in more than 300 years and the white-tailed eagles now flying over local wetlands.

There will be intriguing insights into the Wareham Arc, an enormous land and river regeneration project that has recently won government backing, major rewilding schemes that are already under way and Purbeck’s plentiful marine life, including endangered seahorses.

Taken as a whole, it is hoped that the Wild Purbeck approach of restoring the landscape and reintroducing some key species could protect and enhance the landscape by allowing nature to manage itself, not just halting the downward spiral of modern times but reversing it.

An egg-shaped water feature is the central feature at Carey's Secret Garden

Carey’s Secret Garden at Wareham boosts biodiversity while attracting tourists

Offering an alternative to the seaside

Fair organiser Vicky Charles said:

“We focus on sustainability and we have been looking at sustainable tourism, because while Wareham isn’t a seaside town like Swanage, we do still depend on the tourist industry.

“What can make us different is looking at places that Wareham has to offer other than the seaside – nature and wildlife and all the wonderful places on our doorstep. It’s a fantastic town, and a perfect gateway to Purbeck.

“We had an idea of attracting people to Wareham to enjoy its nature and wildlife and found that amazing work is being done by a whole range of groups such as Dorset Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and the National Trust.

“We also have local landowners and attractions like Carey’s Secret Garden and the Blue Pool, which boost biodiversity and help our resilience to climate change.

“We believe this is a good time to share our excitement with the wider community, as possibly many people living here are unaware of the terrific things that are going on around them.”

Sir David Attenborough begins his new series from Old Harry, Swanage
BBC

Sir David Attenborough’s Wild Isles programme has sparked new interest in Purbeck

Wild Isles has created a lot of interest

The nature and wildlife fair will promote groups like Sustrans, the cycling charity which explores ways to see the best of Purbeck without the need for a car, and Purbeck Safaris, which takes visitors out in a Landrover to discover hidden gems in some of the more remote areas.

While Purbeck is most famous for the sandy beaches of Swanage and Studland, it is also blessed with a vast expanse of unspoiled heathland and woodland, and some of the most diverse wildlife in the British Isles.

David Attenborough’s latest BBC series Wild Isles, including scenes filmed in Old Harry in Studland, has created a lot of interest not only in Purbeck staycations but also in local residents wanting to find out more about the area they live in.

NATIONAL TRUST

Sand lizards in the dunes – one of many rare creatures which call Purbeck home

One of the most biodiverse areas of the UK

Vicky said:

“We have been exploring what has been happening to protect and enhance our fabulous environment here in Purbeck, and want to share all that information with locals as well as with tourists.

“As the fair is being held after the Easter break, we are not particularly aiming it at tourists, but at local residents who may not be completely aware of all the wonderful places and wildlife around them.

“On our doorstep we have one of the most biodiverse areas in the country, with over 450 species that are rare, threatened or endangered, all six of Britain’s native reptiles and 65 special wild flowers, over half of which are scarce.

“There are herds of red cattle, sika and roe deer, free roaming pigs, woodlarks and nightjars nesting here and ospreys and white-tailed eagles flying above us, rare butterflies, sand lizards in the dunes, and hopefully soon we will have wild beavers building dams at Little Sea.”

Boat trips along the River Frome are very popular in the summer months

Tourism on the River Frome in Wareham, a perfect way to see the wildlife

A gem of a town in a perfect position

She added:

“We are in a unique position to visit so many wonderful places around us, it’s not just about lying on the beach and soaking up the sun – in fact, at the wild sea centre at Kimmeridge visitors are encouraged to interact with nature at the coast.

“Wareham is a gem of a town in a perfect position, with all the public transport links that put beautiful parts of Purbeck just a short bus ride, cycle ride or walk away,.

“Our river is really important, the quay is a fantastic draw, and a great starting point to take a boat ride to see some of the amazing views and wildlife on the water like the white tailed eagles we have in the Wareham Channel at the moment.”

Short films showcasing the best of Purbeck will be screened during the fair, home-made refreshments will be available and visitors will be able to pick up a new leaflet which provides information about all the local nature and wildlife destinations and how to get there.

RSPB ARNE

Heathland at RSPB Arne is part of a super national nature reserve

Further information

  • Discover more about Purbeck’s gems and how to see them at the Visit Wareham website
  • Find out more about the Nature and Wildlife Fair at Sustainable Wareham
Sustainable Wareham poster

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