News & Events

Sustainable Swanage Open evening – September 28th 7pm-8.15pm Emmanuel Church, Swanage

Doors open at 6.30 to browse the stalls.

Understanding our local river system, its history, catchment area, condition, how it is managed and how we can all play a part in reducing pollution and flooding.

With a natural focus on the sea and beach in Swanage how well do you know our local river, the Swan?

A small river system, it often disappears under buildings in the Town and its waterside is largely inaccessible to the general public through its 4.75km journey from source to sea. During this autumn open evening we will be exploring how this natural river has been adapted around the urban development, how it is managed now to avoid flooding and how the local sewage system and surface run off affects it.

Sadly our river is in a poor ecological state like many other river systems around the country  Swan (Swanage) | Catchment Data Explorer | Catchment Data Explorer During this evening we will also discuss how some things we do can impact on water quality from the incorrect use of surface drains to dogs swimming in the water.

We are delighted to have speakers from Environment Agency, Wessex Water and Dorset Coast Forum to give presentations and answer your questions. There will also be information stalls and maps for to find out more information.

An introduction to identifying common native broadleaved trees. Learn how to observe different leaf shapes, texture and colours, study the bark and autumn fruits and understand basic tree biology. The course takes place within Swanage greenspaces where there are numerous fantastic trees right on our doorstep to admire. This course is a fantastic opportunity to connect with nature around us and as part of the Festival is FREE to all participants!

The morning will start inside for introductory session and the remainder of the morning will be outside in the field, weather permitting. BOOKING ESSENTIAL, please email

For more information look at this participant information sheet

see Planet Purbeck Festival website for more events

It's amazing how much wildlife is on our doorstep in our towns when you really look, stop take a moment and observe on this gentle walk through our greenspace network.

As part of the Planet Purbeck festival, join us for a guided walk through Swanage covering some of the areas of valued urban greenspaces taking in the wonderful trees and wildlife along the way with Project Officer Sarah Spurling and Swanage Town Council representatives. The walk starts at the Swanage information Centre and heads north along the seafront where DCF's James Mitchell will also talk about the green seafront stabilisation and enhancement scheme.

The Planet Purbeck Festival 2023 - Planet Purbeck

Saturday July 15th 10.30-12.30pm Mowlem Community Room

Come along to our next Sustainable Swanage open evening - June 20th at Emmanuel Church Swanage, 7pm-8.15pm (doors open at 6.30pm) Presentations on local wildlife from Tom Clarke of National Trust and Ali Tuckey from Durlston Country Park. Stalls and information on wildlife, enjoying, identifying and how to help boost populations and biodiversity. Also find out about our big summer search on June 24th.

Get back on your bike! Free event celebrating cycling for all ages.

All welcome to this free event, jointly hosted by Sustainable Swanage, Swanage Town Council and Herston Village Hall Committee. There will be activities to try such as Yoga and a special childrens yoga session, zumba, willow weaving and nature activities. There will be live music and a also a chance to talk to representatives from Swanage Town Council on the future of this newly opened up public greenspace.

Bring your own picnic food and blanket to enjoy in the outdoor space. You can also pop in to the Herston Hall for refreshments and a chance to look at plans for the new hall and share memories of times spent at the hall in the past, looking at old photos. If you have any please bring your own too to share. There is no car park at the site so please use active travel where you can.

the Event is running from 11-3pm with timed sessions for Yoga and Zumba as follows:

11.30-12pm - childrens yoga session - Join JoYoga for a fun specially designed session for kids. Mats provided but bring your own if you have one.

1pm-1.30pm - Yoga session for all. Join JoYoga for a relaxing outdoor yoga session. Mats provided but bring your own if you have one or a blanket.

2pm-2.30pm - Join Lucy for a fun 30 min outdoor Zumba session.

In the event of adverse weather we may have to cancel to alter the day and timetable. Check social media for updates.

With thanks to Stepping into Nature for providing a grant to cover event costs and for support with resources and advice.

On behalf of Swanage Town Council, we are very pleased to announce that the area known as The Downs is now officially a Local Nature Reserve! With the official process completed in late Autumn last year we are excited to be hosting a special launch day together with Swanage Town Council this spring on Saturday 15th April giving people a chance to find out more about the area and celebrate its value to the people of Swanage.

As a greenspace close to the town, it has exceptional local interest and educational and community value. Becoming an official nature reserve recognises the sites value and ensures protection and enhancement of this special natural heritage. Helping to build sustainable communities it creates new spaces and focus for education, enjoyment and recreation and preserves links with the local community’s past. 

Since the spring of 2020 Swanage Town Council, supported by Sustainable Swanage have been preparing to dedicate the area by carrying out public surveys, habitat surveys and writing a detailed management plan. We have also carried out guided walks and information days and over 30 volunteers have become involved in wildlife surveys.

The setting up of a ‘Friends of Peveril Point and the Downs’ group is part of the process of becoming a LNR and is a great way of involving the community in the management of the site and assisting the council with its management providing expertise and time. More information about what is involved with becoming part of this group can be found on the day, come and chat to the Swanage Town Council representatives.

Four new panels have been created to celebrate the wonderful story of the area, covering its geology, history and wildlife, these will be unveiled ready for the launch day. We discovered some fascinating stories about the area and can’t wait to share them with you. There is more to discover and learn and we would love to hear of your memories, stories and photos too and continue the journey.

Drop in any time between 11-3pm but don't miss our official launch ceremony at 2pm with guest speakers from Swanage Town Council, Durlston Country Park and the National Trust.

We have some great guided walks on offer and activities to help you get more out of your visit on a self-guided trail. The terrain is sloping and uneven so please bring appropriate footwear.

Parking is available next to the site in Broad Road car park, toilet facilities are available in the Town along the Quay and on the approach to Peveril Point at the end of tarmac road. There will be tea and coffee available on the day or visit any of the wonderful nearby eateries for refreshment.