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Dorset recreates an ancient world

Words by Abi Scaife

A ‘super reserve’ in Dorset is creating a haven for wildlife.

Awesome! Tell me more.

The Purbeck Heaths ‘super national nature reserve’ aims to imitate conditions and ecosystems that haven’t been seen for thousands of years.

The sandy environment of Dorset is the perfect place to recreate the ‘savannah’ that would have once existed on British shores - and is the ideal habitat for a number of creatures, including the sand lizard.

What makes it so special?

Environmentalists are using current species as a stand-in for now-extinct animals. Cattle for aurochs, ponies for tarpan horses, and even adorable piggies rather than boars. 

All this is coming together to create an amazing, self-sustaining ecosystem that is great for the environment, and for our animals.

The national nature reserve is the brainchild of seven different organisations; RSPB, National Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Forestry England, Rempstone Estate, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and Natural England, and is located within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Purbeck Heaths, or getting involved, you can find out more on their website.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The Woodland Trust. This is the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, concerned with the creation, protection, and restoration of native woodland heritage. Support them here.

Rewilding Britain. They aim to tackle the climate emergency and extinction crisis, reconnect people with the natural world and help communities thrive. Find out more here.

Born Free. This is a wildlife conservation charity that’s passionate about wild animal welfare and Compassionate Conservation. Find out more here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life on Land, Climate Action.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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