The Trust’s geographic area includes most of the communities in the Purbeck district of Dorset, with the exception of Lytchett Minster, Upton, Swanage and the parishes between Studland and Worth Matravers. Click on the map to see the area in more detail.


WDDT Area Map

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If you're not familiar with this beautiful part of Dorset, and want to know more about the area, click here.


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Purbeck Stone Memorial Benches

As part of our on-going management and maintenance of the Performance & Picnic Area, on the south bank of the River Frome opposite Wareham Town Quay, we have removed the old wooden benches and will be replacing them with Purbeck Stone Memorial Benches, in the same style and size as those already located within the area.

We already have a local family who wish to fund and commemorate a bench to the memory of their dearly departed mother who loved to sit by the river and simply watch the world go by, and it is our intention for all the new benches to be funded in such a way.

With the removal of the old wooden benches we now have enough space for five new Purbeck Stone Memorial Benches and are offering this opportunity of having a bench to any local family or organisation who may wish to participate.

The Purbeck Stone Memorial Benches are produced locally by Haysoms Quarries, Langton Matravers, and are designed in such a way as to allow an engraved plaque to be set within the bench itself.

For further information regarding location, style, size and costs involved please contact John Scott, Development Manager, WDDT, 01929 554236

UPDATE 03/12/2018

December fun thanks to The National Lottery #ThanksToYou

From 3-8 December 2018, we are offering a free Wareham Walls Walk booklet and Bucknowle Roman villa leaflet to National Lottery players.

The Wareham & District Development Trust will be making this free offer to National Lottery players during the week of 3-8 December 2018. They are one of hundreds of participating organisations across the UK saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.

The idea is simple: any visitor who presents a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard at the Discover Purbeck Information Centre desk within Wareham library on 3-8 December gets in return a free copy of the Wareham Walls Walk booklet and Bucknowle Roman villa leaflet

The Bucknowle Roman villa threshold stones, to the read of the Library, has received £6.500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money has paid for an improved display of the stones, information board, web site and educational leaflet.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7.8bn National Lottery funding since 1994. This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

John Scott, Development Manager of the Trust said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we’ve been able to do a great deal of work to improve the displaying of the stones and to increase the understanding of the part played by the Romans in Purbeck.”


UPDATE:  6th November 2018


Priory Community Meadow and the Performance & Picnic Area, both on the south bank of the Frome opposite Wareham Quay, are both community areas for one and all to use as and when they want, so please make the most of them both.

Over the past year they have been used by Wareham Wednesdays throughout July and August as the site for their Wednesday Fun Fair, and also in July as the venue for the Southern Area Town Criers Competition.

The area has also been used by local and visiting school groups and outdoor activities centres, the Saturday Market, local charities, as well as Wareham Library for their regular ‘story time walks’. Even this week, Thursday 25th October, it was the venue for their ‘Spooky Storytime’ event, see images. There are also plenty of places to sit and relax on the several commemorative seats, some in memory of local residents and some in memory of the many American personnel who were based in the area and lost their lives during the Second World War.

On November 11th, celebrating 100 years since the end of the First World War, the area will be used by the Town and British Legion for thanksgiving, music and the site for one of the 1,000 Beacons that will be lit across the whole of the UK.

All the community areas created by the Trust, including the Tree of Life & Laughter Community Garden to the rear of Wareham Library, are for the use of the community. Please contact John Scott, Development Manager, Wareham & District Development Trust 01929 554236 if you would like to make use of any of the spaces mentioned.

Please also remember that to keep all these community areas ‘special’ we need the help of our community itself, and so if you can spare an hour or two sometime please get in touch, there is always lots to do.


It is now one year since the Tree of Life & Laughter Community Garden was officially declared open on 19th September 2017.

Since then, to add to the tree mural, flowers beds, Roman villa remains and furniture already installed, Purbeck Art Weeks have donated a beautiful sculpture and murals created by local school children and the Purbeck Day Centre, the Purbeck Rally have donated tables, benches and a bird table, the Rotary have donated gazebos, and local individuals and businesses have contributed other items and money to the overall maintenance costs. The Trust, Stoborough WI and Renaissance residents have planted, weeded and kept the garden in good condition.
Also during the first year the garden and exhibition space has been well used by the Library for their Summer Reading Challenge during August, a visit by seven classes from Stoborough School during July, Friends of the Library tea and cakes in July, and several group and individual visits. The Trust has also made use of the garden by inviting SEA LIFE Weymouth to demonstrate their rock pools twice, resulting in over five hundred children and adults attending. The Trust also held a ‘Nearly New Book & Craft Fayre’ which raised £170, and have since, in partnership with the Library, installed a ‘Nearly New’ book trolley which is raising further funds for the garden upkeep.
As regards the Bucknowle Roman villa threshold stones within the garden, they have been well visited and appreciated. The information board alongside and a web site and educational leaflet have since been completed. As a ‘thank you’ to the community, and as part of a National Lottery promotion, the Trust gave away a copy of their Wareham Walls Walk booklet to anyone who presented a lottery ticket or scratch card at the Discover Purbeck desk between 11-16 December 2017.

For the rest of the news please read our newsletter

News Update 4th April 2018

Wareham & District Development Trust bags £1,000 from Tesco’s community grant scheme

The Wareham & District Development Trust is delighted to announce it has bagged £1,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme.

Bags of Help is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, and sees grants raised from the sale of carrier bags awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. Since launching in 2015, it’s provided more than £48 million to over 13,000 local community projects.

Millions of shoppers have voted in Tesco stores up and down the country and it can now be revealed the Wareham & District Development Trust has been awarded £1,000.

Work will now begin on bringing the project, the improvement of Priory Community Meadow, to life.

The Meadow was created ten years ago by the Trust and its many helpers from neglected land on the south bank of the River Frome, opposite the Town Quay in Wareham. Over the years it has suffered from severe flooding and general wear and tear and is now in need of some tender loving care. Paths need resurfacing, bridges need strengthening, ditches need clearing, information boards need replacing, and lots of trees and bushes need cutting back.
‘The Meadow has been an oasis of peace and tranquillity for many years, and has won several conservation awards, and the £1,000 awarded will go a long way to ensuring that the Meadow maintains its character for a further ten years’, says John Scott, Development Manager for the Trust.

Alec Brown, Tesco’s Head of Community, said:
“Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”
Voting ran in stores throughout January and February with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the checkout.
Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions are awarded funding.

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:
“Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down the UK to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them. The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit  

News Update 24th November 2017



Thanks to Ball & Socket, Stoborough WI and the full-house that enjoyed their concert and cakes on Wednesday 22nd November we have raised over £400 to go towards the purchase of more tables, benches and a bird table for the Tree of Life & Laughter Community Garden





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