Protected Landscapes – our National Parks and National Landscapes – are special and unique places. They are living, working landscapes that also support a huge range of habitats and species, and they are enjoyed by millions of people every year. By supporting the farmers, land managers and people who live and work in these areas, we can help protect these exceptional places and support local communities.

The Dorset National Landscape Team are committed to supporting farmers and landowners to maximise the benefits to wildlife and landscape on their land and have developed a range of projects and funding to do this:

Maiden Castle (c) Yvonne Blackborough

Farming in Protected Landscapes programme

Through this programme, farmers and land managers can be supported to carry out projects that support nature recovery, mitigate the impacts of climate change, provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage, or support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses.

Marshwood Vale (c) Marks Simons

Reconnecting the landscape

With the support of the National Grid, we are working to improve the landscape of the Marshwood Vale and the South Dorset Ridgeway, where they are impacted by high-voltage power lines.

The aim is to restore, recreate and connect the key features of the landscape that make it special. We are working with farmers to restore lowland meadows and chalk grassland, traditionally manage hedgerows and plant a new hedgerow oaks. We’ll also rebuild lost drystone walls, look after the rivers and orchards and develop wildlife-friendly road verges.

(c) Mark Simons

Tests & Trials Project

We received funding from Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to carry out a ‘test and trial’ project.  This is part of the Government’s ‘Environmental Land Management’ programme which is developing a new approach to the way we reward farmers for delivering environmental benefits or ‘public goods’ such as clean air and water, thriving wildlife and adaptation to climate change .  This project finished in March 2021.

(c) Dorset AONB / Common Ground

Community woodlands

Woodlands are a very important part of the Dorset landscape – not just visually but for the wildlife they support, carbon they store, air they filter and water they slow down … and lots more besides. To ensure we get the most out of our woodlands, it is important to look after them. Community involvement is one way to ensure that these woodlands are managed to benefit both wildlife and people, now and in the future.

If you would like more information about this work, please contact Ian Rees, Dorset National Landscape Countryside Officer.