Poole Harbour from Arne by Sue Macpherson ARPS

Wild Purbeck

The Wild Purbeck partnership is made up of a number of different conservation, landowning, governmental and local government organisations. It is managed by the Dorset AONB and meets three times a year.

Wytch Farm Landscape and Access Enhancement Fund

One of the key ways in which Wild Purbeck projects will be delivered is through the Wytch Farm Landscape and Access Enhancement Fund. This has been established to enhance the landscape around Wytch Farm oilfield and is supported by the Dorset AONB, Dorset County Council, Natural England and Perenco UK. Further information on applying to this fund is available here.

The fund is for projects that will moderate the impacts of the oilfield on the local landscape, wildlife and rights of way. Landowners, conservation and community groups can apply for funding for landscape, biodiversity and access projects which are located within the priority areas. Applications will be assessed by a panel of experts including a representative from Perenco, which will meet twice a year.

Other work

Other projects are worked up by partners to contribute to the main areas of work by the Wild Purbeck partnership which are:
1.    To protect the “crown jewels” –high quality habitat – through sustainable management.
2.    Heathland and woodland – the right trees in the right place. To ensure that high quality heathland restoration continues and identify opportunities for new woodland planting.
3.    Minerals – restoration of current and future mineral sites. To take the best opportunities to enable appropriate restoration for wildlife, people and businesses to deliver more, bigger, better, joined up sites.
4.    Sea level rise and climate change – proactively planning for the changes resulting from climate change and predictions of sea level rise.
5.    People in Purbeck – to ensure people enjoy Wild Purbeck whilst understanding its importance and need for sustainable management.


Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area

Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area (NIA) ran from March 2012 to April 2015,a three year project delivering large scale initiatives in the landscape of Dorset to improve ecological connectivity and improve biodiversity. Wild Purbeck was one of 12 NIA'sacross the country and covers around 46,000 hectares, a national booklet “Nature Improvement Areas 2012-2015 – Making Space for Nature on a Landscape Scale” has been produced highlighting some of the work that has been delivered across the country.

End Of NIA Project Report

The project has produced many reports and guidance documents, most of which can be found in the relevant project pages, we have also produced an end of project report "Wild Purbeck 2012-2015" which has more information on the themes, project and achievements of Wild Purbeck.

Defra's national report, summarising the achievements of the 12 initial NIAs, is available here

The Wild Purbeck NIA (WPNIA) partnership group is made up of a number of different organisations both supporting and delivering projects. This project is supported by Government through Defra, DCLG, Environment Agency (EA), Forestry Commission (FC) and Natural England (NE)

As part of the NIA programme, the 12 initial NIAs were required to undertake monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of their projects. Progress Report from this monitoring can be found here and present the results of the evaluation of the NIAs across the three years.

Wild Purbeck NIA has set the wheels in motion whereby 2020:

  • the area’s natural assets are richer and more resilient to changes
  • there is more natural function in the landscape - for example rivers are re-connected with their flood plain and catchment
  • plans are in place to enable people and wildlife to adapt to sea level rise around Poole Harbour
  • the landscape contributes more strongly to the local economy, particularly around sustainable tourism and products from land and sea; those industries also contribute strongly to that landscape
  • communities and businesses from both within and outside the area understand the importance their contributions make
  • a landscape where the connections between the natural world and human activity are understood and celebrated.

An indicative googlemap of the area can be seen here.


  • Over 13% of the population of Purbeck has been engaged in community, education or other NIA activity
  • 124 Ha land has been purchased and safeguarded for the future
  • 467 Ha of heathland restored or managed
  • Over 20,000 hours volunteer time across the NIA
  • The NIA has enabled partners to lever in funding they would otherwise not have been able to access.


  • The opportunity to enthuse local people is there, providing you can engage with topics that interest them
  • The importance of embedding NIA work within existing organisations to provide a long term legacy
  • The need to be flexible and have worked up projects with different budgets, should unforeseen underspend occur in existing projects, or additional funding become available (as occurred in year 2)

Newsletters & Other documents form the Wild Purbeck NIA initiative

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