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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Silverlake Conservation and Community Fund

Dorset Council, Dorset Natural Environment Team and Habitat First teamed up to create the Silverlake Conservation and Community Fund.

The fund is a requirement through the Silverlake planning permission which will see up to 1,000 holiday homes built over the next 30 years on the former Warmwell quarry west of Crossways. The legal agreement tied to this planning permission requires each home owner to pay an annual sum of at least £50 to fund nature conservation and community projects that help mitigate the effects of the development on nearby protected heathlands. The developer will top-up this fund to ensure that a contribution of at least £10,000 is made to the Dorset Council each year.

The fund is open to bids 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 annum from the fund. Please read the Silverlake Conservation and Community guidance note for further details of the application and assessment process.

The deadline for submission of applications is as follows:

  • 19 April 2021
  • 31 October 2021
  • 30 April 2022
  • 31 October 2022

To apply, please carry out the following steps:

  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. please also send a copy of the form and relevant information to the Natural Environment Team (DNET) using their contact details.

The following awards have been made since the Fund started in April 2018:

Broadmayne First School

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

Since receiving the award, the school has organised a family gardening weekend to clear the nettles and overgrown branches and install planters and trellis in the school grounds.

Butterfly Conservation

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

Butterfly Conservation have used the funding from their award to survey the heath. Their survey has identified the presence of a single larva of this rare species. Butterfly Conservation now plans 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. Butterfly Conservation have prepared a report on the Dingy Mocha Moth, documenting the findings of the survey work, monitoring arrangements and plans for habitat management.

Frome Valley First School, Crossways

In January 2019, Frome Valley First School were awarded £2,840 to fund the creation of a pond with decking in their existing school wildlife area. The pond and decking will enable the children to pond dip and make observations and learn about the wildlife contained within it. The school plan to prepare an annual biodiversity update to show improvements within the site.

Study of Bees and Wasps by Dorset Environmental Records Centre

In January 2019, Dorset Environmental Records Centre were awarded £4,200 to help fund a study which measures the change in distribution of bees and wasps in the Silverlake area. The study will help to inform the restoration work for Silverlake and the adjoining areas which are currently subject to mineral workings. The study is expected to be concluded by the end of 2020.

Tadnoll & Winfrith Heathland Heritage Project

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

The placement will help new trainee Seb 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.

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