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Guest speakers at rebrand launch event

Mar 14, 2024

The Urban Heaths Partnership has been working relentlessly for 23 years across Dorset to encourage us all to protect, enhance and enjoy the Dorset heathlands. The Partnership has changed its name to The Dorset Heaths Partnership (DHP) and is launching its new brand.

The Partnership was created to mitigate the increasing pressures from urbanisation on our rare lowland heath here in Dorset. Today it is made up of 10 organisations: Dorset Council, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council, National Trust, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Forestry England, Dorset Police, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Natural England and RSPB.

Paul Attwell, Team Manager, commented “the partnership continues to grow and thrive, and it was felt that the name Dorset Heaths Partnership better represents the organisation we are today. We work closely with all our partners to harness their expertise helping to protect and enhance our globally important heathland habitat”.

The rebrand was officially launched on 12 March at Upton House, Poole, with a small celebration event for the partners. Respected lepidopterist, Phil Sterling, who was one of the founders of the Partnership, talked about its inception and how it’s grown. He was followed by special guest speaker, Chris Hines MBE.

Chris, founder of a Grain of Sand, former Sustainability Director for the Eden Project, founder of Surfers Against Sewage and Special Advisor to the Minister for the Environment, addressed the room and instilled his passion and inspiration for our future. He spoke about the importance of partnership working and how we can make a difference for nature in the current climate crisis. Paul Attwell then spoke about the future work of the partnership.

Martin Whitchurch, Strategic Lead Greenspace & Conservation at BCP and chair of the Partnership steering group, added “the partnership is now looking forward to a positive future building on the last 23 years. The mitigation work will continue with renewed vigour and passion by all involved”.

We’re in a nature crisis and part of a very big picture. Our heathlands in Dorset are only a small piece of that picture, but lowland heath is rarer on the planet than tropical rainforest and supports some extremely rare wildlife. Restoring and promoting biodiversity, creating nature solutions and working together have a big role to play in tackling the climate crisis.

The Partnership looks forward to continuing its important work looking after our fragile and rare Dorset heaths.

Photo: guest speaker, Chris Hines MBE, cuts the cake with Bridget Betts, Paul Attwell and Martin Whitchurch.

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