What is a local nature reserve?

    Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) are for both people and wildlife. They are places with wildlife or geological features that are of interest locally, which give people special opportunities to study and learn about them or simply enjoy and have contact with nature. They are an impressive natural resource which makes an important contribution to England's biodiversity. Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) are a statutory designation made by principal local authorities.

     The status celebrates the worth and value of the site and maximises its potential. The designation as an LNR would also be included in the Local Plan and adds another layer of protection from development and potentially damaging activities. The designation is about recreation/access as much as biodiversity. 

    Why is it being considered for Swanage Downs?

    To ensure that the site is protected for the benefit of local people for the future and that the natural value of the site is identified, understood and enhanced.

    The site currently has a high level of biodiversity and the establishment of a nature reserve will increase its value amongst residents and visitors and encourage children, schools and other groups to learn and enjoy this space in a balanced manner.

     The original proposal for a nature reserve at this location was identified in the Green Infrastructure Strategy in June 2018. In December 2020, it was incorporated within Swanage Town Council’s Environment Action Plan which was a result of the Climate Crisis Declaration of September 2019.

    What does this mean for Swanage Downs?

    At this stage we are seeking your views as to the value of the site and what ideas and suggestions might be incorporated into the proposed management plan for the future This will help ensure that the site can continue to be enjoyed by a wide range of people.

    How can you be involved and have your say?

    Please complete the Swanage Downs survey to let us know how you use and value the site. We will be holding an open meeting to discuss the findings of the survey on the 24th February and will publish details of this on our website and social media pages. 

    If you would like to be involved in the Friends group, please let us know in the survey and leave your details to be added to the group mailing list.