Our Greenspace Service is responsible for the management of some of Dorset’s best countryside public assets, including over 80 countryside sites, nearly 3,000 miles of Public Rights of Way, long distance trails, and just under 5,000 miles of highway verge.

Below are some of the things we are doing to tackle the ecological emergency through the management of our greenspaces:

Changes to countryside management

We have changed the way we manage our roadside verges to reduce interference and encourage biodiversity by allowing natural grasses and wildflowers to grow. We help protect and restore rare heathland across Dorset and have acted to protect bees, butterflies and other pollinators by cutting hedgerows less frequently, planting flowering trees and shrubs, and enhancing the ecological value of our roadside verges. Read more about our approach here.

Our Pollinators Action Plan proposes a range of positive approaches which can be applied to the management of councils’ assets, projects and decision-making processes in relation to the decline in pollinators, on Dorset Council land.

Read a statement on what Dorset Council is proposing to do in relation to trees, tree management and tree planting as part of its response to the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

Find out more about our countryside management services.

Switching to battery-powered tools

In 2021, we replaced nearly all the two-stroke petrol engine hand tools used by our Greenspace service with innovative battery driven equivalents. This switch will reduce carbon emissions, noise, local air pollution, vibration risks for users and fuel costs.

To make sure we achieved the maximum carbon and cost savings, we also installed solar panels on the roof of the depot where the battery packs for the new tools are recharged. By generating our own electricity on site, we have eliminated the carbon emissions from our hand tools and saved an estimated 43 tonnes of CO2e a year and as much as £10,000 in annual fuel costs.

Read more about the switch here.

Going peat-free

Dorset Council now only uses peat-free compost across its Greenspace Team, landscaping projects and grounds maintenance services. 

Going peat-free is great for the environment and the climate. Peat bogs, including some areas of our Dorset Heathlands are important carbon stores preventing the release of carbon dioxide. They also soak up excess rainfall helping to prevent flooding.

Find out more about the benefits of peat-free compost on the RHS website.