Stepping into Nature – Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Stepping into Nature aims to help people be happier and healthier by connecting with nature.

This 3-year project funded by the National Community Fund uses Dorset’s natural and cultural landscape to provide activities and sensory rich places for older adults, including those living with dementia and their care partners. Our nature-themed activities – both indoors and out – help people find new places to go, learn new skills and meet like-minded people.

Stepping into Nature’s main areas of activity are:

  • Working with local organisations such as Dorset Wildlife Trust, Dorset Forest School and Dorset History Centre to support and fund the delivery of inclusive activities inspired by or within nature.
  • Providing funding for communities and organisations to help create more inclusive, accessible and enjoyable green spaces.
  • Training staff and volunteers, particularly those within environmental organisations, to become dementia friendly.

There are some exciting activities you can get involved with throughout January:

Museum of the future

Event: Museum Of The Future

Copyright: palaeogo

When: 5/11/2019 @ 11am

Where: Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Augmented Reality (AR) promises to enrich user experience by enhancing the real-world objects with computer-generated, interactive digital assets. Apart from the entertainment aspect of AR, it now has a growing role in public engagement within natural parks and museums, also in conveying educational elements, especially as most visitors now carry smartphones.

The real-world objects with computer-generated, interactive digital assets. Apart from the entertainment aspect of AR, it now has a growing role in public engagement within natural parks and museums, also in conveying educational elements, especially as most visitors now carry smartphones.

For over two years our team have been developing tailored AR experiences for public engagement, with focus on extinct animals, within the PalaeoGo! project.

During this event they will share the lessons learnt with respect to the limits of current technology, the importance of making the assets realistic, and the ways of engaging the visitors even with a limited investment, to make an AR deployment a success.

The event will consist of three keynotes:

  • Prof Matthew Bennett – Creating Digital Assets
  • Peter Truckel – Animating Heritage
  • Prof Marcin Budka – Delivering The Vision

There will also be a hands-on session where you’re be able to play with various versions of the PalaeoGo! app.

Nature Volunteers

A new project has been launched in the Life and Environmental Sciences Department within the Faculty of Science and Technology at Bournemouth University.

The NatureVolunteers website links people interested in nature volunteering  with conservation organisations offering project opportunities that help nature.  Opportunities range from student placements to family fun and can be one-off or regular events. There are now over 100 projects to view and there will be lots more advertised soon. 

For more information visit the NatureVolunteers website: .Upcoming opportunities will be showcased on the News section on this website.

Lucile Crété

PhD student at Bournemouth University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences

The Omo-Turkana basin (Kenya/ Ethiopia) is a key reference region for human evolutionary studies, and provides a detailed record of vertebrate evolutionary patterns. Several aspects of hominins’ ecology and habitats can be investigated using fossils preserved here, as well as global climate and regional environmental processes that drove our evolution.

My research project aims at reconstructing prevailing vegetation conditions through time in the Omo-Turkana basin between 3.5 and 1.6 million years ago, by examining the dietary evidence of the fossil impala (genus Aepyceros) and springbok (genus Antidorcas), through stable isotopes, mesowear and microwear evidence. Changes in the diets of the studied species are expected to be informative about larger-scale habitat and vegetation changes, due to the high dietary adaptability of these abundant mixed-feeding antelopes. A key part of this project will also be to assess the links between modern antelope diets and vegetation cover of the present landscapes, which will be quantified via remote sensing techniques

Research links: Researchgate, Academia, Linkedin

Supervisors: Sally Reynolds, Ross Hill, Philip Hopley



BU2025: A new vision

Bournemouth University 2025 (BU2025) vision has been released. BU2025 is the next step in BU’s development, building on our success. We have retained the core of what makes BU different, and the culture and approach that our students and staff value.

Our values

We strive for excellence in everything that we do.

We value and respect diversity and act to ensure that we are inclusive.

We are imaginative, innovative and create solutions to problems.

We take responsibility for the impact of our actions and focus our activity as a learning community on making a positive contribution to society.

Fusion themes

Fusion themes for BU2025 are the following:

• Business & Economic Sustainability

• Digital & Technological Futures

• Environment, Culture & Heritage

• Global Security

• Health & Wellbeing

To find out more about BU2025 including outcomes and strategic plans, you can visit Bournemouth University online or view the pdf leafet here: BU2025

What is the DCDA?

What is the DCDA?

The DCDA is an extensive archive, hosting a great diversity of photographs, newspaper articles, aerial images and historical maps of the Dorset coast as far back as 1740. This work is a centrepiece for knowledge exchange on how areas have developed over time through a visual representation. The archive promotes information and an understanding of how the Dorset coast has changed over time, including how the coastal morphology has evolved, how biodiversity has changed and how settlements and society have developed. The archive contains over 20,000 images, which have been grouped into the following categories:

Physical changes to the Coast

Dorset’s coastal and marine habitats include some of Britain’s rarest species, but also a wide range of more common species. Maritime heathlands, salt marsh, estuaries, cliffs and landslides, lagoons, rocky shores, sand beaches and dunes, submarine rock ledges and gravel banks together form a very diverse and productive ecosystem. Most of what we know comes from charts, divers and underwater photography.

Settlements and Society

Maps and estate plans in the archive record the growth of settlements on the coast from the sixteenth century onwards. Most large estates were established by the sixteenth century. Medieval legal cases explain some of these patterns of growth. The sea’s presence affects the suitability of sites for occupation and development. Marine commerce and trade have been important throughout this coast’s history.

Managing the coast

Dorset’s marine and coastal environments are its principal environmental and economic assets. The sea is used for tourism and recreation, fisheries, education, mineral extraction, transport and waste disposal. These all have impacts on Dorset’s marine environment. With increasing pressure on the coast, management of Dorset’s marine resources is a constant challenge.

The main categories have been broken down into further groups to enhance the accessibility of the images. The archive will promote information and an understanding of how the Dorset coast has changed over time, including how the coastal morphology has evolved, how biodiversity has changed, and how society and settlements have developed. The collaboration with the Wessex Portal and Channel Coast Observatory has made it possible for this fantastic resource to be accessible online, available to a wider audience. The project has been led by the Faculty of Science and Technology at Bournemouth University, and funded by the Valentine Charitable Trust. We hope that this archive will be a valuable tool for teaching and to the public’s viewing pleasure and personal research into their local past.

The full DCDA is now hosted on the Channel Coast Observatory website and can be accessed by this link: DCDA

Sample images can be found in the Gallery and on our social media sites

Any questions regarding the project can be addressed to:Professor Genoveva Esteban
Research Assistant Katie Thompson

Turd nerds assemble

During the first few days at the school, both the art project and toilet construction excelled rapidly:

Toilet project:

  • In each cubicle of the boys toilets, the holes for each toilet seat were cut out and seats were installed
  • All 10 IBC containers were moved into the lower tier of the toilet structure and piping was attached

Eco-art project:

  • All sponsored doors had a white base coat, and designs were drawn on and painted
  • Teachers at the school designed a mural for the toilets around that themes that had meaning to them


Pee power (urine-tricity) joins poo power!

Researchers from Bristol University are now working with Akamba Children Education Fund, installing microbial fuel cell technology to generate electricity from urine. This is a massive step in the project, as we will now be generating power from both urine and poo. The microbial fuel cells work by feeding on urine (the fuel) using the biochemical energy that is generated and converted directly into electricity. All that is needed to generate this power is the waste product, making it a sustainable green technology solution. The combination of biogas production, and using microbial fuel cells to use urine and mud to generate power makes the project unique.

Hengistbury Head Garden Competition

Win your own garden BioBlitz!

Alongside the 2018 Great Wildlife Expedition (at Hengistbury Head on June 9th), Hengistbury Head are offering you the chance to have a BioBlitz in your own garden!

The winner of our Great Wildlife Garden Competition will have a team of experts take over their outdoor space on June 16th.

Using detectors, hand lenses and lots of books, the team will identify bats, mammals, moths, birds and plants that live in, or visit your garden. You will be able to spend time with the team and learn the difference between the species that thrive on the work you have done to make your garden a place for nature.

The team will show you where to go to record your finds, adding these species to Bournemouth’s wildlife map. There will also be a talented local film maker who will capture the day, the activities and the excitement of identifying the plants and creatures that live in your garden.

To enter, use the entry form to tell us about your garden, your household, and any wildlife that you have seen in, or nearby, your garden. Please send your entry via email:

Closing date: 30th April 2018 (Winner will be chosen by the Hengistbury Head Ranger team)

Terms and conditions apply – see poster for details.