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Silverlake Conservation and Community Fund

West Dorset District Council, Dorset Natural Environment Team and Habitat First have teamed up to create the Silverlake Conservation and Community Fund.

The fund is a requirement through the Silverlake planning permission which will see up to 1,000 holiday homes built over the next 30 years on the former Silverlake quarry west of Crossways. The legal agreement tied to this planning permission requires each home owner to pay an annual sum of at least £50 to fund nature conservation and community projects that help mitigate the effects of the development on nearby protected heathlands. The developer will top-up this fund to ensure that a contribution of £10,000 is made to the District Council each year.

The fund is open to bids for eligible projects within the parished areas of Warmwell, Crossways, Knightsford, Broadmayne, Owermoigne, Puddletown, Moreton, Winfrith Newburgh and Woodsford.

Applications for funding can be made during April and October each year. Please read the Silverlake Conservation and Community Guidance note for further details of the application and assessment process.

Initial funds in the Conservation and Community Fund stands at approximately £18,150 but will increase as the number of properties within Silverlake increases. Applicants can apply for up to £5,000 per annum from the fund.

To apply for funding please carryout the following steps:

  1. Download the Silverlake Conservation and Community Fund application form.

  2. Read the Silverlake Conservation and Community Guidance, which offers help on filling out the form.
  3. Submit the form and relevant information to us using our contact details - marked for the attention of the Implementation Team Leader.
  4. Please also send a copy of the form and relevant information to the Dorset County Council Natural Environment Team (DNET) using their contact details.

The following awards have been made since the Fund started in April 2018:

Broadmayne First School

In July 2018, Broadmayne First School were awarded £976.38 for the provision of equipment to study wildlife in the school environment.

Since receiving the award, the school has organised a family gardening weekend to clear the nettles and overgrown branches and install planters and trellis in the school grounds.

Butterfly Conservation

In July 2018, Butterfly Conservation were awarded £875 to study whether a rare species of moth called the Dingy Mocha Moth is present in the Warmwell Heath and Silverlake area.

Butterfly Conservation have used the funding from their award to survey the heath. Their survey has identified the presence of a single larva of this rare species. Butterfly Conservation now plans to introduce a management plan to support the habitat for the moth with the aim that Silverlake will be able to become a local stronghold for this rare species. Butterfly Conservation have prepared a report on the Dingy Mocha Moth, documenting the findings of the survey work, monitoring arrangements and plans for habitat management.

Frome Valley First School, Crossways

In January 2019, Frome Valley First School were awarded £2,840 to fund the creation of a pond with decking in their existing school wildlife area. The pond and decking will enable the children to pond dip and make observations and learn about the wildlife contained within it. The school plan to prepare an annual biodiversity update to show improvements within the site.

Study of Bees and Wasps by Dorset Environmental Records Centre

In January 2019, Dorset Environmental Records Centre were awarded £4,200 to help fund a study which measures the change in distribution of bees and wasps in the Silverlake area. The study will help to inform the restoration work for Silverlake and the adjoining areas which are currently subject to mineral workings. The study is expected to be concluded by the end of 2020.

The next funding round is expected to start in April 2019.


Dorset County Council - Dorset Natural Environment Team (DNET)

Name: Dr Annabel King
Email: annabel.king@dorsetcc.gov.uk
Full contact details for Dorset County Council - Dorset Natural Environment Team (DNET)

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