Devastating heath fire Heathwatch volunteers
In 2011, Heathwatch was formed in response to the devastating fire on Upton Heath. Over 70 Volunteers (often dog walkers) are now involved with and help monitor this important reserve. Members receive HeathWatch cards listing emergency contact numbers for reporting incidents and also receive monthly e-bulletins about the heath, including wildlife sightings and information from the wardens.
A growing number of people are wanting to be volunteer wardens. Volunteers and members of the public have reported everything from camp fires being lit on the heath to motorcycles being ridden illegally on footpaths and bridleways. One recent incident reported by a member of the public led to an arrest of two men already wanted by the police. HeathWatch cards, carried by the volunteers list emergency contact phone numbers and are distributed through libraries and other public places (or please drop by the office to pick one up). People do not have to be part of the initiative to carry one of these cards or to report antisocial behaviour, but if you do register; you’ll receive a volunteer pack and monthly bulletins about the heath, including wildlife sightings and information from the wardens.
Upton Heath is a foremost example of European lowland heath and through this scheme and other initiatives we can help to protect and preserve this important wildlife habitat for generations to come.
Find out more at dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/heathwatch