The Silverlake Conservation and Community Fund is a joint fund between:

  • Dorset Council
  • Dorset Natural Environment Team
  • Habitat First

The fund is a legal agreement as part of the Silverlake planning permission.

Silverlake is a development on the former Warmwell quarry, west of Crossways. It has planning permission to build up to 1,000 holiday homes over the next 30 years.

Each homeowner must pay an annual sum of at least £50. This is to fund nature conservation and community projects that help reduce the effects of the development on nearby protected heathlands.

The developer tops up the fund to make up a contribution of at least £10,000 a year.

Silverlake conservation and community fund area

The fund is open to bid applications for eligible projects within the parished areas of:

  • Warmwell
  • Crossways
  • Knightsford
  • Broadmayne
  • Owermoigne
  • Puddletown
  • Moreton
  • Winfrith Newburgh

Applicants can apply for up to £5,000 per year from the fund.

Read the Silverlake Conservation and Community guidance note for details of the application and assessment process.

The application deadlines are:

  • 30 April 2022
  • 31 October 2022

To apply:

  1. Download the Silverlake Conservation and Community Fund application form.
  2. Read the Silverlake Conservation and Community Guidance, which offers help on filling out the form.
  3. Submit the form and relevant information to us using our contact details - marked for the attention of the Team Leader.
  4. Send a copy of the form and relevant information to the representative for the Natural Environment Team (DNET) using their contact details.

Funding awarded

These are awards made since the fund started in April 2018.

Broadmayne First School

Broadmayne First School was awarded £976.38 in July 2018 for the provision of equipment to study wildlife in the school environment.

The funding has led to exciting developments at Broadmayne.

The school organised a family gardening weekend to clear the nettles and overgrown branches and install planters and trellis on the school grounds.

The school pond area was very overgrown. It wasn't practical for pond dipping and was suffering from neglect.

The pond area was transformed by:

  • clearing an eco-friendly woodchip path that leads pupils down to the pond
  • installing benches so that students can take trays and equipment down to the area

This helps to support learning about pond habitats. Pond-dipping is now part of the curriculum for every class.

A wild-meadow area was planted using bee-bombs to encourage a wildlife habitat on the school field. This is not only beautiful to look at but supports learning. Children can look at bugs in their habitat and take part in bug sweeps etc.

"We are very grateful for your support and are very grateful for the learning opportunities which have stemmed from this funding" Jo Stoker, EYFS Teacher, Broadmayne First School

Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation was awarded £875 in July 2018 to study whether a rare species of moth called the Dingy Mocha Moth is present in the Warmwell Heath and Silverlake area.

Butterfly Conservation has used the funding from their award to survey the heath. Their survey has identified the presence of a single larva of this rare species.

They now plan to introduce a management plan to support the habitat for the moth, with the aim that Silverlake will be able to become a local stronghold for this rare species.

They have prepared a report on the Dingy Mocha Moth to document:

  • the findings of the survey work
  • monitoring arrangements
  • plans for habitat management

Frome Valley First School, Crossways

Frome Valley First School was awarded £2,840 in January 2019 to fund the creation of a pond with decking in their existing school wildlife area.

The fund was immediately put to use, and they installed the features by March 2019!

The pond came to life from 2019 to 2020, with the introduction of some frogspawn and appropriate plants.

Reception and year 1 pupils have been using the pond as part of their studies of the science curriculum.

The pond will mature in the future. The decking installed will allow the children to safely pond dip and make observations of the changing pond life.

We will post the school's annual biodiversity update to show improvements within the site once available.

Study of bees and wasps by Dorset Environmental Records Centre

Dorset Environmental Records Centre (DERC) was awarded £4,200 in January 2019 to help fund a study that measures the change in the distribution of bees and wasps in the Silverlake area.

The study will help to inform the restoration work for Silverlake and the adjoining areas. These are currently subject to mineral workings.

Government restrictions have delayed the study, but we expect it to be finished by the end of 2021.

DERC has compiled an interim report.

Tadnoll and Winfrith Heathland Heritage Project

Dorset Wildlife Trust was awarded £4,800 in October 2019 to help develop a training placement to support heathland mitigation work.

The placement will help the new trainee, Seb, to:

  • develop skills in countryside and wildlife conservation
  • access management, public engagement, health and safety, and media

You can find details of what he has learnt so far from this update provided by Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Read Seb's final report.

“The past year has been incredibly enjoyable and I am so thankful to the trust and to all my colleagues for helping me to build the ground work for a future in conservation.” Sebastian Hibbs, Heathland Heritage Trainee, 2021. 

Dorset AONB Partnership

Name: Caroline Kelly
Tel: 01305 228232
Full contact details

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