The RSPB Arne Reserve in Dorset has secured a £40,650 grant from Biffa Award; a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK.
Funded under Biffa Award’s Rebuilding Biodiversity theme, the heathland restoration project will deliver gorse regenerative management to restore 25.6 hectares of lowland heathland on RSPB Stoborough and Grange Heaths.
Work is currently underway and includes the creation of a mosaic of habitats and plants which will enhance Arne's ecological network, providing an opportunity for heathland dependent species to increase their range to other local heathland sites. Species specific works will include the creation of runnels in an area of Bog Myrtle bushes creating 0.6 hectares of habitat for Southern Damselflies.
It is hoped that the project will directly protect and restore rare and threatened lowland heathland and increase biodiversity by creating habitat for six BAP species.
Toby Branston, Dorset Reserve Ecology Manager, said:
“Thanks to Biffa Award funding, this fantastic project will restore more than 25 hectares of rare lowland heathland on RSPB Stoborough Heath. It will create much needed habitat for a range of threatened species including sand lizards, Dartford warblers, Southern Damselfly and the locally endemic Purbeck Mason wasp.”
Mark Singleton, Dorset Operations Manager, said:
“Since 1800 we have lost more than 80% of our heathland and much of its specialist fauna and flora. Thanks to funding from Biffa Award, this project will help us preserve this important place and give home to a host of fascinating animals such as nightjar.”
Gillian French, Biffa Award Programme Manager, said:
“This project will help safeguard heathland habitats which are important for a number of species and improve opportunities for visitors to view a wide variety of wildlife. Biffa Award is proud to support projects that address the need to protect and restore this type of rare and threatened habitat.”