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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A Shed Load of Thanks...part 2

In the autumn of last year after a spate of vandalism that ripped up fence posts, damaged Information boards and trashed the two bridges in Priory Meadow, on the south side of the river Frome opposite the Wareham Quay, the Wareham and District Development Trust who helped to create the Meadow way back in the 'noughties' had very significant help from the Wareham Shedders...see below...who pitched in and provided expertise and help to mend the destroyed fences, bridges and boards.

Since then the vandals have returned and heartbreakingly destroyed their restored bridge. During June the 'Shedders' have returned and re-laid rotten and damaged boards on one of the bridges; while with the help of Ben Clarke and his staff at Campbell Clarke the other bridge has been significantly strengthened and, we hope, made vandal proof.

The Trust, on behalf of our community, would like to pay tribute to the Shedders for their time and especially to Campbell Clarke for their most generous free offering of help, expertise and skill to restore the bridge so that our town, community and our many visitors can once again enjoy a safe and easy passage around our wonderful Priory Community Meadow.


A Shed Load of Thanks

When Priory Community Meadow in Wareham suffered a spate of vandalism earlier this year, with ripped up fencing, broken information boards and trashed rustic wooden bridges, the Wareham & District Development Trust, who created the meadow for the community over fifteen years ago, were struggling to raise funds to cover the expensive repairs.

All was looking bleak until an unbelievable intervention from an unexpected source, the Wareham ‘Shedders’.

The ‘Shedders’, a group of volunteer woodwork enthusiasts, are involved in a whole host of community support projects in its workshop in the Purbeck Connect Centre, Sandford Lane, Wareham, and they very kindly offered to repair the bridges and mend the fences and information boards.

As part of the world-wide movement of ‘Shedders’ it has the aim of making useful items for the community whilst at the same time giving both expert and novice volunteers a space to work together, share their skills and make new friends. The Wareham ‘Shed’ meets twice weekly for two three-hour sessions so anyone who would like to join in will be made most welcome

‘On behalf of the Trust and our community and many thousands of visitors who have enjoyed the peace and tranquillity of Priory Community Meadow over the years I would like to thank the Wareham ‘Shedders’ for all the support that they have given us in getting the meadow back into use once more’, says John Scott, Development Manager, Wareham & District Development Trust.


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 WDDT

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 please contact WDDT 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 


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