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Will you become a Ryewater Farm Guardian?

A unique opportunity has arisen to extend our Ryewater Farm nature reserve and purchase 4.45 acres of grassland and hedgerows and transform them to a vibrant, thriving ecosystem.

But we cannot do it without your support. Will you donate today to help restore and protect it for nature forever?

Orchids at Ryewater Farm nature reserve

With your help, 4.45 acres of land neighbouring to our existing Ryewater Farm will be purchased, which would extend the nature reserve by 12%.

But we need your urgent support to secure this land now. Work must commence before the winter months when the ground will become too wet and inaccessible.

Your kind gift today will mean work can begin quickly to restore the land and create a species-rich meadow which will help protect nature forever.

Donate today

Why is this additional land so important? 

Ryewater Farm reserve is a stunning 38-acre site in Dorset that has been owned and managed by Plantlife for almost 30 years and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation and is within the Dorset National Landscape. 

The existing Ryewater Farm reserve is made up of meadows, pasture and a beautiful strip of ancient woodland around the edges that runs steeply down to a stream. During the spring and into the summer, it’s awash with Common Spotted-orchid, Pignut and Yellow Rattle. The site is also rich in fungi and home to dormice and several protected bat species.

The new land, which neighbours the existing Ryewater Farm reserve, will need major restoration work as it is currently in ‘unfavourable condition’ but with your support and Plantlife’s stewardship, it will be managed in the same way as the rest of the site, significantly benefitting wild plants, fungi and other species. 

With support from this appeal and other funders, we will extend the reserve by 4.45 acres and restore it to a vibrant and species-rich meadow. With nature under threat more than ever before, these protected and carefully managed meadows are crucial and have the power to benefit biodiversity, climate and people. 

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What will happen once the land has been purchased? 

Your kind donation will mean that work will begin to clear the site of debris, redundant machinery, a caravan and small buildings from approximately 20 tennis courts’ worth of land. 

Once the boundaries are secured with new fencing, we can then start working with our existing grazier and his herd of Highland cattle to graze the rest of the reserve and start upgrading the state of the grassland. This change in management will help restore and enhance the land significantly.

We will be committing to protecting this land as a species-rich meadow forever so we will continue to carry out additional management, including using green hay from other wildflower meadows on the reserve. We estimate that it will cost an additional £13,000 a year. 

Donate now

We are delighted that our offer to acquire the additional land has been accepted but we now need to get the funds in place to complete on the purchase and start the land clearance and restoration.

We have some funding in place but we urgently need to raise a further £20,000 to complete the purchase and secure additional funds to be confident we can take on permanent responsibility and cost in managing the land restoration to protect its future. 

Only with your help, can we take on ownership, responsibility and management of the land restoration to protect it for generations to come. 

Will you help safeguard the future of this nature reserve, and become a Ryewater Farm Guardian today? 

I’d like to become a Ryewater Farm Guardian