100 conservationists, including researchers and policy makers, from over 50 organisations within the Wessex region met on 13th December at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology research site in Dorset.
The meeting was organised by the Wessex Conservation Forum hosted by staff at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) and School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, in association with the Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) to exchange views and expertise on "Rebuilding Biodiversity" in Dorset. The aims of the project are firstly to increase biodiversity at a landscape scale and secondly to raise awareness of the importance of doing this, not only for the benefit of wildlife but also for people.
The meeting was heavily over-subscribed, demonstrating the pressing need for events like this, which allow informal opportunities for discussion and exchange of ideas within the conservation community.
This meeting showcased results of recent research carried out by scientists relevant to the "Rebuilding Biodiversity" initiative, especially recent research undertaken by staff at CEH. Topics discussed included grass and heathland ecology, bird behaviour as an indicator of wildlife change and chalk stream ecology. Current work from the Dorset Wildlife Trust, Bournemouth University and the Dorset Biodiversity partnership was presented too.