About our project

Our aim is to manage recreation in the National Landscape so that any negative impact of visitors on the natural environment is reduced. We want to connect people to place and nature; establishing a much needed link to our natural heritage in today’s modern society.

There are nearly 10 million day trips and 1.5 million staying trips to the Dorset National Landscape every year. Tourism supports nearly 9,500 full time equivalent jobs in the Dorset National Landscape and visitor spend contributes £7.5 million to the local economy (2022 figures).

Dorset’s outstanding landscape is the main reason most people visit the area. It underpins our tourism based economy and plays a huge role in supporting local services.

Our role is to manage the impact of visitors so that the National Landscape retains its natural beauty and special qualities and is passed on to future generations in at least as good condition as it is currently. Helping people enjoy and understand the area establishes an appreciation and engagement with the place, which in turn creates a desire to protect the environment.

Dorset National Landscape also has responsibility for visitor management and tourism related work along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Tourism in protected areas is a major part of the global tourism industry – an industry whose scale and impacts are enormous.

- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2018

What we do

Help local people and visitors explore, understand and engage with the landscape; encourage sustainable tourism; work with a wide range of partners, communities and businesses.

The sort of projects we work on:

Making beautiful spaces

Improving the aesthetics of places where visitors congregate to find information or to simply ‘be’, through sensitive re-landscaping and introducing local beautiful features; for example, dry stone walls or artist-designed seating.

West Bay Hub 2020 (c) Neil Barnes

Reducing clutter along the coast and countryside …

By reducing, rationalising and improving interpretation. A single panel will have a far more impact than a cluster of panels saying the same thing in different ways. With so much digital access to information we don’t need to overwhelm people with static words in the landscape.

Hive Beach car park 'before'
Hive Beach car park 'after'. Landscaping and interpretation improvements, working in partnership with the National Trust, Jurassic Coast Trust and Dorset Council Natural Environment Team.

Access for All

With financial support from Defra, we have been able to improve Access for All by upgrading rights of way and creating new routes which are accessible to everyone, including wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.

The first two years of funding improved access routes in and around Bridport and West Bay, as well as Hilfield Nature Reserve. Future funding will allow for better access for all at Lulworth, Kingcombe National Nature Reserve, Brownsea Island and the Piddle Valley.

Newly surfaced pathway, Happy Island in Bridport

Encouraging responsible visits

Dorset National Landscape promotes ‘out of season’ tourism and sustainable travel, through:

  • Encouraging use of public transport
  • Improving information to make exploration by train, bus, foot or bike simple and easy
  • Promoting walks and cycle rides
  • Encouraging people to try local food and drink
  • Promoting things to see and do out of the main summer holidays, including events

We also provide:

  • Clear safety information, especially along the Jurassic Coast, to raise awareness of the dangers of rockfalls and landslips, as well as water safety advice, working with the RNLI
  • Information to reduce litter in the marine environment, coast and countryside by working with local organisations such as Litter Free Dorset.

Follow the Countryside Code

Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock (c) Kevin Freeman

Enjoy the coast safely

  • Always stay away from the cliffs and never lie or sit under them
  • Rock falls and landslides can happen at any time and if 1000 tonnes of rock falls on you, you won’t survive
  • Know your tides to avoid getting cut off when the sea comes in. There are tide time apps available or check local information
  • Don’t get stuck in the mud – the best place to find fossils is on the beach, not in the cliffs
  • Keep dogs on a lead if anywhere near the cliff tops

Get in touch

For more information about Tourism, Access and Visitor Management work, please contact Sally King, Dorset National Landscape Visitor, Tourism and Access Manager.