"Coastal conservation on the clifftops of scenic South Dorset."
At Durlston Country Park, the natural landscape isn’t the only thing to marvel at as you will be overshadowed by the mighty Durlston Castle and the Anvil Point lighthouse, both perched on the clifftop. Whilst this coastline is famed for its fossils, it is the modern day ecosystems that are the focus of this project. The reserve is a nature paradise with more habitats than you can shake a stick at, from craggy cliffs to majestic meadows. What comes with such a variety of habitats is a requirement for careful close attention to their management – so your extra pairs of hands will be duly appreciated!
On this project, it is the growth of invasive plants damaging the ecosystem that present the biggest problems: some extreme gardening is required to manage this issue and maintain the balance. You will also enhance other practical conservation skills, helping to perfect the art of building drystone walls, rocky mosaics that act as shelter for many different organisms. You will also get up close and personal with the reserves wildlife as you will take part in small mammal surveys using both live and camera traps to perform important conservation research. It won’t be all hard graft, there’s time to explore the wildlife wonderland that is the Dorset coast before returning to your elegant barn conversion for a good night’s rest.
Habitat preservation is one of the main issues for modern conservation in the UK. With an ever-urbanising landscape, the number of true wild spaces is dwindling, meaning that the areas that remain require strict protection to retain their biodiversity. The introduction of alien species of plants and animals makes the situation increasingly precarious as they can compromise the growth of natural vegetation, impacting the entire ecosystem. As many ecological pressures are driven by man, it is now our own responsibility to attempt to reshape the landscape.
Ultimately, the ecological work undertaken by volunteers on projects such as this are making a genuine difference to the health of habitats. By managing the growth of hawthorn hedgerows on grassland areas, it encourages the growth of other wildflowers and plants that would not normally thrive when overrun with dense hedges. Hedgerows, in the right place, are indisputably beneficial for many animals throughout the year, providing sustenance in autumn and winter as well as shelter through spring and summer. Similarly, although man-made, drystone walls are now part of the very make-up of the landscape and provide an artificial habitat for mosses, lichens, invertebrates and small mammals. It is therefore vital that they too are regularly repaired and maintained by volunteers.
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person
- This project has a fixed departure date
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator directly about this project's availability, departure date and costs
- All field training in the necessary conservation and research skills and techniques - no prior experience necessary!
- All meals
- Any services or activities not mentioned in inclusions - if in doubt, click 'Ask a Question' up above to chat to the operator!