News: Special Edition - Volunteering Opportunities and events Near You!

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Why not make it Green this year! We've gathered lots of info on how to have a more planet-friendly Christmas, including local events, sustainable or hand-made gift ideas and recipes just for you!

Planet Purbeck's vision is a cleaner, greener future for everyone in our community! Our mission to create change can be achieved by supporting and amplifying all the local events which promote sustainable ideas. That's why we put together this newsletter; we wanted to provide you with a range of local activities and ideas to help you have a greener Christmas whilst making a positive impact on the environment! 

Local Events...

There are so many events happening in and around Purbeck organised by local organisations - what takes your fancy?

Christmas at Swanage Library

Kiln Fired Clay Workshop Festive Tealights

Thursday 2nd December 10:30 am - 12:30 pm at Carey's Secret Garden

Be inspired by nature, in nature!  During this workshop, under expert tuition, you will create your very own tealight holder and during the workshop, you will also glaze them. Your creations will then be taken away to be fired in a kiln oven and returned ready for collection from Carey’s Secret Garden two weeks later.

Ticket price - £30 per person, includes access to Careys Secret Garden on both the date of the workshop and the day you collect your finished piece. Tickets and more info are available here:

Dorset Diving Services Talk - In the Company of Seahorses

Date: Thursday 2nd December 5.45 pm

Seahorses are instantly recognisable and have been a part of our culture for millennia, yet we still know very little about these enigmatic creatures. Steve Trewhella and Julie Hatcher have spent hundreds of hours in British waters observing native seahorses, witnessing at first hand how they behave in the wild, and how they interact with the other plants and animals in their underwater realm.  With stunning photography, In the Company of Seahorses paints a rich picture of a mysterious world amongst swaying seagrass and colourful seaweeds.

Tickets: (Dorset Diving Services club members free, non-members £5):

Dorchester Xmas Vegan Market

Saturday 4th December, 10.00 am - 3 pm at The Borough Gardens, Cornwall Road, Dorchester, DT1 1RG.

Still, in a safe outdoor environment and still FREE ENTRY everyone can come and enjoy this superb outdoor event with 35+ stalls of 100% vegan products. There will be many stalls from local businesses offering a variety of delicious hot and cold food, tea, coffee and yummy cakes, and other fine cuisines. Along with health and beauty care, ethical clothing, eco-friendly products, jewellery, information & advice and so much more!

For more information please e-mail:

Christmas at Durlston

Dorset Wildlife Trust’s 'Wild Night In'

Thursday 9th December, 7:30 - 8:30 pm - Online

We're excited to invite you to join us for a festive 'wild night in' on Thursday 9 December. Chief Executive Brian Bleese will be joined by a panel of special guests including our President, Dr George McGavin. You'll hear all about Dorset's wildlife species in winter, from insects to beavers, and what you can do to help your local wildlife in cold weather. 

To find out more or to book your FREE spot, please visit:

Sustainable Wareham Christmas Fair

We hope you'll come and join us in the Corn Exchange, with stalls run by several of Wareham’s local community groups selling items from Cakes and Craft to Jewellery and Woodcraft and lots more besides.  There will also be a tombola and a chance to win some great eco-friendly raffle prizes.

To find out more, please see the Community Christmas Fair details.

PPYG & PYCF Christmas Event


Saturday 18th December, 3:30 - 5:00 pm
Durlston is hosting two fantastic events in the ‘run-up to Christmas’, with a unique showing of ‘The Snowman’ with a live score and encouraging audience participation.

Following at 8 pm – 9.30 pm will be ‘Candlelit Tales for the Longest Night’ - an evening of tales of enchantment and hauntings with a live musical accompaniment.

 To book tickets or find more info, please visit

Sustainable gift ideas

Here are some ideas for more sustainable Christmas gift ideas ...

Why not Adopt a Primate at Monkey World! 

Additionally, here is a list of a few ways that you can support the ongoing care of primates at Monkey World:

  • Donate to the Ape Rescue Trust here
  • Donate to our GoFundMe appeal to support the park during covid-19
  • Gift items from our Amazon Wish List here
  • Set up a supermarket delivery, with food listed on the image below
  • Buy gifts, entrance vouchers, or Monkey Money to spend at the park. Call us on 01929 462537 (Mon-Fri, 9-4 pm) to do so.

All funds from adoptions, the GoFundMe campaign, and the donation option on our gift shop go into the Ape Rescue Trust, a 100% fund used solely for the rescue and care of the monkeys and apes at Monkey World, with no administrative costs removed.

Adoption Packs from Dorset Wildlife Trust

Looking for a great way to benefit wildlife with your Christmas gift shoppingAdopting a red squirrelbarn owl or seahorse will help safeguard their habitat for the future, while a gift membership will help fund vital conservation and advocacy work for all of Dorset's species. Online and postal options are available (please note, the post-cut-off date is 15 December). 

You can also find a selection of festive gifts at the Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre, perfect for combining a winter walk with some Christmas shopping.

Experience Days at The Veterans Forge

Why not give the gift of learning a new experience from The Veterans Forge - A hidden gem in Corfe Castle! Here, Will Spicer recycles everything from copper boilers, tank tracks, bolts and gun barrels, and turns them into attractive flowers, benches, and memorial plaques.

Learn how to make copper roses, nails, hooks and pokers either on your own or with a loved one. Experience days are £80 10:00am - 4:00pm. For further info please contact Will at or call 07565405103.

Home-made gifts and recipes

How about trying to make Christmas Gifts, or experimenting with new planet-friendly festive recipes? Here's what some of our Planet Purbeck members have been creating and also, some of their favourite recipes!

Candles made re-using glass dessert dishes!

You can experiment with decorative additions, here we've made one decorated using freshly picked daisies from the garden!

Macrame decorations and coasters made using recycled organic cotton twine.
Here are some quick and easy video's to get you started:

Pumpkin Chutney - to use up leftover pumpkin!

Enjoy the tangy flavours in this easy-to-make pumpkin chutney, which also works well with courgettes or marrows.

Marrow Jam - yes, we did say marrow!  It is really tasty!

Here's the marrow jam recipe that Helen S and Rebecca H used, it's a great way to use up marrows, or courgettes, that has grown too big for their boots!

Parschnapps (Parsnip Vodka)

Try this easy recipe for a new twist on vodka to celebrate this holiday season, or to give as a gift!

Wensleydale & cranberry filo pillow

Try this meat-free recipe for a festive main meal - you can even try the vegan version by using vegan Wensleydale cheese and filo party!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with a Thyme and Paprika Rub

For a vegan alternative to a classic roast, this spiced, roasted cauliflower is highly recommended by Rebecca H!

We have also been looking into 'Swap Shops'; Rebecca S, a member of the campaigns team found a couple of fun ones. She feels that "a circular system is not only good for us but also the environment."

Volunteers Needed!

We've gathered lots of info on local volunteering opportunities and we wanted to share them with you!

Planet Purbeck's vision is a cleaner, greener future for everyone in our community! Our mission to create change can be achieved by supporting local environmental projects and amplifying all the efforts of our community. With that said, we cannot do it alone, we are stronger together!

That's why we put together this email; to provide you with a range of opportunities that will help you get stuck in whilst making a positive impact on the environment! 

Volunteering and Apprenticeship Opportunities...

'Tis the season to be jolly and what better way to get us in the mood than giving back. With so many fantastic local groups around, there are plenty of ways for you to get involved, here are a selection...

RSPB Arne present -  'Pull a Pine'

Saturday 4th December 10:00am - 3.30pm (Last entry to site at 2:30pm) 

Come and enjoy the festive fun and help save our Heathland this December. Spend the day pulling saplings and finding your perfect eco Xmas tree (or as many as you can fit in your car!). RSPB Arne Pull a Pine Tickets (adult members £12.50, non-members £15.50, children under 16 free):

RSPB Arne also presents - A Christmas Fair
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th December 

Spend the day walking around our beautiful reserve spotting the thousands of wetland birds on display.  And whilst you’re here you can purchase your perfect eco Christmas tree (prices dependant on size).  Enjoy live music, mulled cider and winter warming food, crafting for children and grownups and you can get all your Christmas shopping done at our Festive Fair. 

No tickets are required, free entry for Members, normal car park charge for non-members.

National Trust's Slow the Flow project

The National Trust would like to build dams out of willow on two of the streams on East Common in Corfe. These dams will help to hold back and slow down the flow of water, in order to reduce the risk of flooding downstream. The dams have the added advantage of improving the habitat for rare species such as the Southern Damselfly.

Saturday 11th December, but keep your eyes peeled on the Planet Purbeck Events page and the National Trust's website for further details.

Blue Pool - Controlling Invasive Species

Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th January 2022 

The Blue Pool and surrounding Furzebrook Estate are designated an SSSI for its Lowland Heath habitat. Maintaining this important landscape comes with its challenges, none more so than keeping in check the highly invasive Rhododendron ponticum.  Each year the Estates team tackle the vast amounts of well established Rhodie plants across the estate but with the resources available, it's a tall order! This is where you come in.....

Can you spare a day, half-day or even a few hours to help? Please get in touch for a rewarding day of cutting, burning and team building.  For more information, please contact

Dorset Wildlife Trust 

They need local people to join our keen group of volunteers at the Fine Foundation Wild Seas Centre, Kimmeridge.

With increasing concerns about the climate and ecological emergency and marine litter, alongside a newly created network of protected areas in the sea, our work has never been more important.  No expertise is needed, we provide training. Our aim is to enable Wild Seas Centre visitors to leave feeling empowered to make simple changes in their everyday lives that benefit the planet and help tackle the environmental issues of our day. for more information.

Countryside Worker and Countryside Ranger Apprenticeship

If you'd love a job outdoors gaining 18- or 26- months paid experience and achieving the new Level 2 Apprentice qualification alongside other vocational qualifications, then this apprenticeship is for you.

Level 2 recruitment will be taking place in February / March 2022. Please register on our Jobsite. We manage the scheme in partnership with Kingston Maurward College and you will also be enrolled at the college. 

Apprentice Rangers receive formal training in the use of brush cutters and first aid. Training will be given on various topics including rights of way law, interpretation and wildlife identification. 

To find out more, please visit the Dorset Council website

National Trust - Volunteer Opportunities

Young People Sunday Volunteering at Studland Bay!

Sunday 2nd January 2022, 10: am to 3:00 pm

The Young People Volunteering Group will be launching on the 2nd January 2022. Meeting every Sunday from then, 10 am to 3 pm at Studland Bay.

Activities include removing invasive species and vegetation, habitat creation for rare species, litter picking, monitoring, and conservation work with tools. Meeting at the Discovery Centre. Dress appropriately, bring lunch, water and lots of energy!

For other details, visit

Purbeck Nature Champions

Purbeck's nature needs champions to showcase its amazing diversity, stories and scarcity to a wide range of audiences: Programming & education - create educational materials, learning packs, activities & experiences. Engagement delivery - build awareness by delivering education, engagement & advocacy events for visitors, schools and communities. Creative communications - produce media content including articles & images.

Ecological Surveyor Volunteers

We need help in ensuring that key habitats and species are monitored to evidence the impact of beavers. Botany - Track habitat changes and monitor indicator species. Amphibian surveys (from March 2022) - Using search and sampling methods to establish the presence of newts, frogs and toads. Odonata surveys (from May 2022) - Survey dragonflies and damselflies across the Purbeck Heaths National Nature Reserve.

Beaver Manager Volunteers

Where beavers can impact existing infrastructure, it is crucial to monitor, swiftly report and manage any conflicts as they arise. Regularly monitor allocated infrastructure, using walked routes and scheduled site visits. Work with designated private landowners on monitoring schedules. Learn about and support project staff with practical beaver management activities (e.g. dam removal). This role will form a crucial part of trialling and developing long-term beaver management capacity for  Purbeck. It will not launch until beavers have arrived and settled in (est. 2022), but you can express your interest now.

If you have any questions about these volunteer roles or you would like to get involved, please email Gen Crisford, Engagement Officer for the Purbeck Beaver Project at

For more information about the project: 
Re-introduction of beavers to Purbeck | National Trust

Kickstart scheme

Looking for a job? Aged 16-24? Claiming Universal Credit? The Kickstart scheme is a Government funding project to help young people get a paid, short term contract job with prospects

Earlier in the year, Dorset Council employed Kickstart Assistant Countryside Rangers across the county. We can now offer some more eligible candidates a place within our Ranger Teams for a 6-month post. If you're interested and fit the above criteria, get a referral through your Job Centre and get in touch. Here's a video from the Durlston Kickstarters.

If you'd like to find out more, please visit

The Veterans Forge C.I.C
Are looking to recruit 3 people aged between 18 and 24 for placement on the Kickstart scheme for 3 days a week. Skills you would gain during your time on the forge include Blacksmithing, First aid, Mounted abrasive discs, Fire Marshalling and much more.

If you are interested in participating or would like more info, please contact Will on 07565405103 or read more about the scheme at

If you'd like to get involved in Planet Purbeck projects, why not join our Land Use Team!

Land Use Team Monthly Meetings - last Tuesday of every month
Next one: Tuesday 25 Jan 7:00 - 8:30 pm Join Zoom Meeting
Keep an eye on our Mighty Network page where events will be advertised and information shared; if you're not already a member you can join here.

Planet Purbeck Logo

If you'd like to read about upcoming local events and volunteering opportunities, you can view them on the Planet Purbeck Events page. Additionally, if are offering any of the above and would like us to share them with our members, please get in touch.

Thanks for reading!

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