WEST DORSET WILDING

A new, farmer and landowner-led West Dorset charity taking action for improved biodiversity, healthier land and waterways and improved resilience to climate change.

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We forget, in a world completely transformed by man, that what we’re looking at is not necessarily the environment wildlife prefer, but the depleted remnant that wildlife is having to cope with.

Isabella Tree – Wilding, 2018

 
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ABOUT WEST DORSET WILDING

Responding to the climate emergency and regional deterioration in biodiversity, water, soil and air quality, West Dorset Wilding is being set up as a local membership charity.  In partnership with local landowners and farmers, it will develop collaborative, nature-based solutions with an initial focus in the Brit catchment.

WDW's mission is to take action to improve the natural environment and its resilience, by collaborating with landowners, farmers and managers, regional partners and the local community, on projects and approaches which meet our vision. These will include rewilding schemes, such as reintroductions of native species such as beavers, the promotion of regenerative farming; and the delivery of education and public awareness projects.

 

WORKING FOR A MORE
BIODIVERSE WEST DORSET

 
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BEAVER REINTRODUCTIONS

Considered as a 'keystone species' and ecosystem engineers, beavers' engineering habits creating nature-rich wetlands, pools and glades which rapidly alter the water flow across their landscape.

 

WHY WE HAVE TO ACT NOW

We are setting up this charity because we understand the problems facing nature, how this impacts on all of us, and how, as custodians of the land, we can start to make a different on our doorstep.

Across the country, our biodiversity and ecosystem health is in crisis from years of intensive agriculture, habitat degradation, pollution and urbanisation. We are now living in a landscape which no longer has the resilience it once had to protect us from the effects of flooding, drought and pollution, and the diversity and abundance of plants and animals are at all-time low. In West Dorset, there has already been significant and life-threatening flooding in the Brit river area; Bridport is now a designated high risk flood zone. 

Evidence from similar projects suggests regenerative, nature-based solutions could have a profoundly positive impact in West Dorset.

 

41% of UK species are declining and 1 in 10 is threatened with extinction

One quarter of UK mammals is under threat; Britain is the most nature-depleted country in Europe

Nature’s decline is unprecedented at current levels

 

WHO WE ARE

 
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LUKE MONTAGU

Founding Trustee

Luke Montagu is an entrepreneur who now spends most of his time managing his family’s estate at Mapperton in West Dorset. After graduating from Columbia University, Luke founded a series of technology, education and media businesses. In 2003 he co-founded the Met Film School, which he led as CEO until 2009. 


Luke is the founding member of Secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence as well as a committee member of the NICE guideline on Safe Prescribing and Withdrawal Management.  Luke is also chair of the trustees for the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion which promotes compassion and kindness in schools.

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GET INVOLVED: HELP DRIVE WDW

We envisage the Brit Valley as a national exemplar of local landowner-led action, in which all land managers play a part.

We are looking for landowners / farmers / smallholders from within the Brit catchment, or wider West Dorset, to join others including Mapperton and Symondsbury estates, as Members of the charity. 

 

MEMBERSHIP

We are currently setting up our membership packages, but landowners, farmers and land managers can become full voting members and have a stake in how the organisation is run.  All members,  including the founding three landowners, will pay an annual membership fee, the amount depending on the size of their land and the status of membership.  There will also be a general membership for those without  land.  This regular income will help WDW’s sustainability, providing the resource to manage projects, create information and fundraise effectively, as we develop and deliver rewilding projects.

CONTACT WEST DORSET WILDING

For more information or to discuss joining WDW as a Member, please contact our team:

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Related Links

WDW PARTNER

UK REWILDING PROJECT