In this country, we often take the verdant richness of our countryside for granted - but sometimes it's good to stop, look, and admire.

We may moan about the rain - but really - would we be without our glorious plants? Here at the ridgeway, it's our mission to protect wild plant species.

Our most treasured habitats are found on the chalk and limestone meadows.

  • Did you know that the distribution of plants across a landscape is one of the best indicators of landscape health? 

Without the plants, there is no wildlife.

 Tony Gill Bluebell Dusk at Hooke


What can you do?

  • We have a number of projects you can get involved with when it comes to wild flowers. We pick our helpers on attitude, not ability, so don't worry if this is a new game for you - we would LOVE to hear from you!



The Roadside Verges Project - Dorset Wildlife Trust

How often have you seen the springtime spectacle of bluebells, primroses or wild garlic alongside the road? Gorgeous, isn't it? Do you want to make them better?

Species like these can remain when any sign of nearby woodland has long disappeared. Many verges are now miniature nature reserves. Some may be remnant pieces of unimproved grassland, others heathland or woodland.

The richest verges are home to a remarkable variety of wildlife.

  • If you are interested in helping with this five year project of conservation and improvement, contact:

Joy Wallis: jwallis@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk.


 Front cover of walks leaflet Credit Mark Simons

Living Churchyards - Dorset Wildlife Trust

The national 'Living Churchyards and Cemeteries' scheme wants local communities to get involved in the management of their churchyards for the benefit of wildlife as well as the local congregation, visitors and the bereaved.

Churchyards have many habitats. You could help look after:

  • wildlife
  • areas of grassland
  • Wildflower
  • meadows
  • patches of woodland
  • walls
  • hedges
  • shrubs
  • gravestones with rare or unusual lichen species.
  • sites can be further enhanced for wildlife by the provision of appropriately sited bird and bat boxes

The Dorset project started in 1996. Over 100 parishes have since become involved. For those starting out, Living Churchyards Packs are available from Dorset Wildlife Trust. These contain a series of leaflets with all the info.

You will also be given a laminated certificate congratulating you on your participation in the scheme, for display in the church porch or elsewhere.

Ideally an initial survey should be undertaken to establish what habitats and species already exist in the churchyard. A brief management plan can then be drawn up, based on what is desired for different areas.



For the more experienced wild plant surveyors:

The Dorset Wildlife Trust are also setting up some small botanical survey groups to work on specific areas of the Ridgeway and undertake a survey and monitoring programme over several seasons.


Interest piqued? Contact:

Joy Wallis,

People & Wildlife Co-ordinator,

Dorset Wildlife Trust,

Brooklands Farm,






Email: jwallis@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk