Two years after a devastating fire at Wareham Forest and one year after DPD began funding the restoration work we take another look at how things are going.
DPD have been working with Forestry England to help restore Dorset’s Wareham Forest with support from its innovative Eco Fund. Funded solely by the firm’s circular economy initiatives.
With the support from DPD, Forestry England has been able to replant with many young trees across the forest as well as purchase of a specialist heavy-duty mower and collector that has been used to create firebreaks and gather up the vegetation to minimise the risk of future fires in the forest.
To help make the forest more resilient the team at Wareham have used the new equipment to create natural gaps between areas of forest by clearing areas of vegetation and planting new trees further back from the edge of the road.
The new machinery funded by DPD’s Eco Fund has been of immense value, mowing 17.5 kms of ride edges last winter, which improves biodiversity and wildfire management. This is brilliant habitat for pollinating insects and species like the Silver Studded Blue butterfly.
“Restoring Wareham Forest is a big job and will take many years to achieve, we are very grateful for DPD’s support, which allows us to continue to work with supporters and volunteers and share with them the huge benefits of the restoration of this special place.– Mark Warn, Forestry England’s Wareham Wildlife Ranger
Wareham Forest is a stronghold for wildlife and one of the few places where it is still possible to find all six of the UK’s native reptiles, including the endangered smooth snake and sand lizard, and it is home to many rare species of birds and insects. In May 2020 a fire, believed to have been started by disposable BBQs, scorched heathland, destroyed woodlands and wiped-out critical habitats for wildlife across an area equivalent to the size of 350 football pitches.
In February 2022, Forestry England and DPD announced a four-year partnership to plant and restore woodland across England to tackle climate change and create positive benefits for local wildlife and communities.