• Portland - Island in Peril

Portland - Island in Peril

The island of Portland has a long history of quarrying, which has created a unique and internationally-important environment of limestone grasslands with an outstanding variety of flora and fauna. However, this precious landscape is under threat from a number of non-native plant species, such as cotoneaster and buddleia. These aggressive species threaten to smother the island and reduce the diversity of native species that rely on open, limestone grassland to survive.

This year, work on the ground has begun in earnest; four volunteer work parties, two month's worth of contractor effort and nine days of specialist staff time has already been undertaken; as cotoneaster is cleared, grassland species are given the opportunity to re-colonise.

Portland's unique and beautiful limestone grasslands are under threat; a wide range of native flora and fauna are slowly being smothered by a blanket of invasive non-native plants, including cotoneasters, buddleia and viburnum.

Andrew Pollard, Dorset Wildlife Trust's Head of Conservation Development said "This major grant from Viridor Credits provides a one-off opportunity for the restoration of internationally important habitat across the Isle of Portland in Dorset. The support from Viridor Credits is a lifeline to rare species such as the unique 'cretaceous' form of the silver studded blue butterfly, which are at risk of local extinction."

Since the start of the project at the beginning of 2012, a whole Island Work Plan has been drawn up and work on the ground has begun in earnest. Four volunteer work parties, two-month's worth of contractor effort and nine days of specialist staff time has already been undertaken.

Photo credits

Main image - Alistair Cook

Silver-studded Blue - K F Dolbear

King Barrow - Alistair Cook

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