Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Dorset Wildlife Trust concerned about cuts

11:30am Tuesday 28th September 2010

By Diana Henderson

With vulnerable wildlife under threat from lack of funding, Dorset’s leading nature conservation charity has launched an urgent appeal.

Dorset Wildlife Trust is concerned that the harsh economic climate combined with government cuts means less funding will be available for wildlife protection.

Now the charity is appealing for financial help to fund vital conservation work to aid water voles, seahorses and the severely declining marsh fritillary butterfly as well as to continue work to rescue the county’s disappearing ponds.
  • The water vole is Britain’s fastest declining mammal. On the River Allen and Moors River there are still populations and DWT plans conservation work to ensure their survival and to help other important species such as kingfishers, brown trout and the native crayfish.
  • Seagrass meadows in Studland Bay are unique as breeding sites for both spiny and short-snouted seahorses. Work is needed to protect the habitat and raise awareness with boat owners and the public to prevent damage.
  • Grassland restoration to link up and extend isolated populations of marsh fritillary butterflies surviving on nature reserves in west Dorset is urgently needed.
  • Work to halt the rapid decline in wildlife-rich ponds has begun in Purbeck but funding is due to end in December, with many still needing restoration. In North Dorset the globally threatened great-crested newt is in danger if urgent action is not taken to restore lost ponds.

“We are very concerned about these particularly vulnerable wildlife projects, which could make a vital difference to the survival of some populations of native British wildlife,” said Alastair Cook, director of fundraising and marketing.

“We can promise that your donation will only go to the particular project you have chosen and that all of it will be spent on active nature conservation.”

You can donate to the appeal at dorsetwildlifetrust and support seahorses, marsh fritillary butterflies, disappearing ponds or water voles.

(Submitted by Jonathan McGowan)

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