THE 60th anniversary of Brownsea Island being opened to the public was celebrated when members of the local community were invited to visit free of charge.
The National Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Scouting Association have worked together to secure Brownsea’s survival since its acquisition in 1962.
The island is a valued wildlife haven and refuge from surrounding urban areas following careful conservation work over many years.
It is also a symbolic destination for Scouts and Guides as the birthplace of the Scouting movement.
In 1963 the island opened its doors to the public, and to mark its 60th anniversary, the island partners including Dorset Wildlife Trust, the Scouts and Guides, St Mary’s Church, Brownsea Island Open Air Theatre and John Lewis & Partners came together to run a series of events and activities for the public.
Senior volunteering and community officer Dania Schmitz-Vaughan said: “The day was a great success, with many locals taking the opportunity to explore Brownsea’s diverse ecosystems, search for the rare red squirrels and to learn all about the history of the island and its flora and fauna.
“For some it was a chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, while for many others it was the first time they had set foot on the Island.
“The weather was calm and sunny, so the visitors saw the island at its very best.
“The feedback on the day was overwhelmingly positive, with fantastic reviews of all the activities and special events that were set up for visitors to enjoy.
“Many people said they would be coming back to Brownsea Island again soon.
“It was wonderful to share the beauty of Brownsea with our local community on this special day of celebration.”