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Ground Breaking Exposé Published On Life In Dorset

Diver Sea Marine Survey

8:18am 2nd October 2014

A new report on the state of Dorset's environment has revealed the county has lost 76 of its important nature conservation sites since 2005.

The report is being published today by Dorset's Local Nature Partnership.

It aims to answer questions like; How green is Dorset? Is it getting better or worse? And how does the county compares to the rest of the UK?

Issues such as recycling rates, development pressure, the extent of protected areas and how much outdoor exercise we get is covered by this ground-breaking exposé of life in Dorset.

Chair of Dorset's Local Nature Partnership (LNP) Dr Simon Cripps said, "This report is long overdue but it has taken a huge amount of work by the many partners forming the LNP.  It shows as you might expect that Dorset has an unparalleled natural heritage that is worth billions of pounds each year in income, but it is very fragile and has been badly damaged in the past.  We must better learn how to look after this goose that lays the gold eggs so that we can achieve valuable growth and development, but not at the cost of the very environment which sustains it."

The report has revealed some striking facts and figures about Dorset, including:

- Otters have now recolonised almost all of Dorset's rivers.
- 2.8% of our county's 11,000 irreplaceable heritage assets are at risk.  
- Tourism is worth around £1.44 billion to Dorset each year and 12% of jobs, both of which are almost entirely dependent on our natural environment.
- We recycle more than the national average waste.
- Outdoor exercise could cut down on NHS spend on drugs and obesity.
- Over 25.8% of our coastal waters are in some way now protected.

The report can be downloaded from www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/naturalvaluereport .

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