Ben Thornes

The Cyril Diver Project

Wednesday 16th July 2014

Eighty years ago, Captain Cyril Diver undertook groundbreaking ecological surveys of the Studland Peninsula. Now, the National Trust are building a team of volunteer ecologists to investigate just how things have changed in the intervening decades. The project was inspired by this great unsung pioneer and aims to give ordinary people the chance to take part in a nationally important ecology project.

The Studland peninsula is part of the Studland & Godlingston Heaths National Nature Reserve in Purbeck, Dorset, and is owned and managed by the National Trust. Over the next 3 years, they are going to study all of the main groups of plants and animals that live in or visit the Studland peninsula. They want to check the current status of over 250 rare and threatened species that have been recorded here in the past, and map all of the different habitat types. By joining together the efforts of local volunteers and professional ecologists they’ll build up a detailed picture of exactly how healthy the heath, dunes, wetlands and woodlands are. Then, by comparing these findings with the work Cyril Diver undertook 80 years ago, it’ll be clear how the peninsula has changed over time. This information is vital to ensure that the National Trust is managing the land right for it’s future.

The National Trust are also going through Diver’s document archive, herbarium and insect collection to ensure that it is properly conserved and made available for use by researchers and the general public.

Find out more, and keep up to date with the progress of the project by liking the Cyril Diver Project Facebook Page, or by reading previous newsletters from April 2013 and June 2013.

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