News & Events

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.

Follow this link to read the new Dorset Coast Forum newsletter featuring updates on our current Swanage projects including Sustainable Swanage.

Take a look at a summary of our key events this Spring to put in your diary... For more information check the news page for details of each event.

Come along to our next clothes swap and repair event on Saturday 21st January from 2-4pm at All Saints Church, Ulwell, Swanage. See poster for details and timings for clothes swap.

Come along to our next clothes swap and repair event on Saturday 21st January from 2-4pm at All Saints Church, Ulwell, Swanage. See poster for details and timings for clothes swap.

In light of the energy crisis the Purbeck Energy Group, whose members include representatives from environmental groups across Purbeck, created a leaflet providing energy-saving information and advice to households in Purbeck. It was distributed to 11,000 households across Purbeck in early December. We hope this will help people save money on their bills at the same time as contributing towards a reduction in Purbeck’s carbon footprint. This was jointly funded by the Solar Streets community fund, (for more information see information on the project page) and Public Health Dorset. Click here for leaflet.

One of our key items this November is the launch of ‘Trees of Swanage’ tree trail. Trees are essential for life, they combat climate change, support wildlife and add beauty to our world. They are important in our culture, history, diet and spiritual wellbeing.

The Greening Swanage working group of Sustainable Swanage have put together Swanage’s very first tree trail! We have selected 10 trees or groups of trees from King Georges playing field across the seafront and towards beach gardens and produced a leaflet with short section of information on each tree, images and a map. We have been involved in new tree planting projects in town in the past few years but are also keen to promote and celebrate the beautiful trees we already have. We encourage people to get in touch with their favourite trees, stories to share that contribute to the next trail! Collect the leaflet from Swanage Information Centre or download here.

We are hosting an open day at Prospect Green again this year as part of the Planet Purbeck Festival, this years theme is a Garden Harvest Fayre and we are joined by Swanage Community Pantry, Allotment Association. Check out their website listings for more information.

Following the Rights of Way meeting in June, 17 volunteers also attended our footpath survey briefing event at the end of July. The volunteers are involved in surveying and monitoring the network of paths in and around the town and supporting the work of Swanage Town Council and Dorset Council Ranger team. 

Summer 2022

In response to concerns about litter caused by broken and discarded beach toys in particular from the cheaper polystyrene bodyboards the Sustainable Swanage business forum has teamed up with 2 local businesses, Shoreside and Burts Bits and the Swanage Information Centre. We are encouraging people to hang on to their beach items and help reduce the number that are left behind each year and discarded sometimes after just one day or week of use. If you want to borrow something for the day such as bucket or spade please go to the SIC and see what they have. Next year we are hoping to launch some hire schemes for bodyboards and recycling collection points.