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 for 2024 are to be confirmed as soon as possible. Please contact us if you have any query regarding a potential application.

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 Dorset AONB Partnership 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 lead to exciting developments at Broadmayne.

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

They 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.

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 in 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) were awarded £4,200 in January 2019 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. These are currently subject to mineral workings.

DERC have compiled an interim report which maybe of interest.

The final report by DERC can be found here.

Tadnoll & Winfrith Heathland Heritage Project

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

The placement will help 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. 

Duddle Heath Phase 1

The landowners of Duddle Heath were awarded £4,173.60 in April 2021 to manage and remove a section of the invasive plant Rhododendron.

The area selected for funding occurred in between two areas of heathland that are being restored through targeted and specific management. Removing this section of the invasive plant will be vital to connect these habitat patches and remove the barriers for wildlife to colonise the area.



Puddletown First School Bird Hide

Puddletown First School were awarded £2,265 in October 2021 as match funding for the installation of a bird hide on the school grounds.

The bird hide is ideally positioned overlooking the school pond and developing orchard providing the opportunity to observe the wildlife and birds. The use of the hide will encourage the pupils to develop their understanding and appreciation of wildlife that occur locally. In addition to this, it provides enrichment of the curriculum, development of sustainability learning and the importance of stewardship of the environment.


Duddle Heath Phase 2

The landowners of Duddle Heath were awarded £2,615 in October 2021 to create up to 30 sand scrapes on the heathland restoration area.

This management will encourage the colonisation of reptiles and invertebrates complimenting the management at Thorncombe Woods. This work is due to commence in the spring of 2023. The area will be monitored annually and updates will be available in due course.

Dorset Bat Box trials

Dorset Bat Group were awarded £2,200 in October 2021 to research how bats use the different types of commercially available bat boxes.

This study aims to increase knowledge of bat populations in the local area surrounding the Silverlake development. Results of the tri-annual monitoring over a five-year period will enable more targeted mitigation interventions in the future.

This project is due to continue until 2026 and an interim report will be available by 2024.


Strategic Policy (West Dorset)

Full contact details

Dorset National Landscape

Name: Caroline Kelly
Tel: 01305 228232
Full contact details