“To preserve and protect the character of Slop Bog Local Nature Reserve by maintaining a balance between the views of the local community and national conservation strategies”.
The Slop Bog Guardians
In 2003, local residents around the Slop Bog area received news that a large tree felling exercise was to take place. On site meetings were held raising objections to the plans. As a consequence, a properly constituted committee meeting was held on 7th March 2003 and the Slop Bog Guardians arose.
Modifications to the original felling plans were taken as a result and our role as Guardians (more than ‘friends’ we felt) took root. In the succeeding years, a rapport has evolved between ourselves and the Countryside Rangers in which a respect for each other’s views has been a major factor in progressing and enhancing the Local Nature Reserve. The name Slop Bog appears uninspiring but here lies a jewel in our midst.
The Slop Bog Guardians assist with:
- wildlife monitoring
- practical work
- general site patrols
- informing about site based projects
- raising funds for projects
Our main achievement has been in bringing together local people in a common cause. Friendships have developed, skills recognized, talents fostered and problems discussed in harmony rather than antipathy.
Our success in obtaining a Grant approaching £18,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund has been achieved as a consequence of much research and hard work by our dedicated team of Guardians.
Today we have around 200 members supporting our endeavours. Slop Bog needs financial assistance to help maintain what is there and to support ongoing improvements – our fundraising activities alone cannot achieve this. We are a registered charity with HM Revenue & Customs and donations from taxpayers qualify for Gift Aid and legacies are exempt from Inheritance Tax. We hope this will encourage people to consider Slop Bog Guardians when giving to charitable causes.
Work parties are normally held on the last Tuesday of the month. In the early days there was a need to improve the facilities on site and a number of projects were completed including the construction of a boadwalk across the wet heath. Management of the Reserve is now in a maintenance phase and tasks undertaken range from fence repairs to shrub pruning and ditch clearance. We are always looking for volunteers and all are welcome.
Details of forthcoming work parties are given on the blog page a day or two before the due date.
Status and Designations
Notified in 1985 and declared a local nature reserve in 2002, the Reserve lies within the greenbelt as part of the “Slop Bog and Uddens Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest” (SSSI). In 2009 its condition status was upgraded from “unfavourable no change” to “unfavourable recovering” showing that recent management was benefitting the site’s conservation value.
In addition to its local and national status, the Reserve lies within English Nature’s “Dorset Healthlands Natural area”, and as such receives international recognition.
* Special Area for Conservation (European Union Habitats Directive)
* Species Protection Area (European Union Birds Directive)
* Ramsar (convention on wetlands of international importance)