New Swanage nature reserve set to be launched

A LAUNCH event for a newly-designated Swanage nature reserve will take place this month.

Residents are being urged to drop in to an event showcasing the new Peveril Point and the Downs Local Nature Reserve, running between 11am and 3pm on Saturday, April 15.

Drop by the Downs, a free event, will be held near the Broad Road car park in Swanage, offering people the chance to find out more about the reserve.

Visitors will be able to see photo displays, take part in guided trails and other activities, meet those involved in setting up the reserve, as well as volunteers who have helped develop the Peveril Point and the Downs Local Nature Reserve.

Sarah Spurling, from the Dorset Coast Forum, who deliver the Sustainable Swanage project, has been working with Swanage Town Council on the process of designating the area as a Local Nature Reserve.

Swanage Town Councillor, Avril Harris, said: “We are delighted that the Downs has received Local Nature Reserve status.

“This well-loved green space is used by so many people, and this official status means it can now be enhanced and protected as a local habitat for wildlife and nature while being enjoyed by our residents and visitors.”

The site features grassland, scattered scrub, woodland and trees supporting more than 300 species of plants and 100 animal species, such as the Lulworth Skipper butterfly and several nationally important bees.

Familiar garden birds can be found, alongside summer migrants including swallows, swifts and wheatear.

Surveys started in summer 2020, monitoring the site’s habitats and wildlife ahead of the reserve bid.

Now, there are more than 20 volunteers working on gathering important data for the site to support and feed into management plans.

For more information – and to volunteer to take part in wildlife surveys – contact Sarah at For more on the scheme, visit

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