Money raised from DPD UK’s recycling efforts is helping to regenerate vital habitats at Wareham Forest, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest devastated by a fire started by a disposable BBQ in May 2020.
Over the last two years, DPD has worked with Forestry England to help restore Dorset’s Wareham Forest with support from its Eco Fund, funded solely by the firm’s circular economy initiatives, such as recycling shrink wrap and wooden pallets.
With the support from DPD, Forestry England has been able to replant with many young trees across the forest, considering carefully where these are located. The money also went toward the purchase of a specialist heavy-duty mower and collector that has been used to create firebreaks and gather up the vegetation to minimize 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.
Some of the areas most affected by the fire have not been replanted and are being managed to help them return to heathland. But even here, Forestry England is reporting green shoots of new life.
Mark Warn, Forestry England’s Wareham wildlife ranger, said, “The new machinery funded by DPD’s Eco Fund has been of immense value, mowing 17.5km 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.”
Tim Jones, director of marketing, communications and sustainability, DPDgroup UK, commented, “We are absolutely delighted to hear the good news from Wareham Forest. We have been on-site and know the scale of the challenges they are facing, so to hear that our funding is making a real difference is fantastic. It is such an important environment, and while it may take decades to fully recover, our funds are also protecting the area against further harm. Having our own circular economy means we can generate eco funds to directly back initiatives like this. It gives us a real focus to keep on challenging ourselves to be more sustainable at every level. The more we can raise from recycling, the more we can put back into ecological or sustainable projects that benefit everyone.”
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.