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.





Wareham & District Development Trust (WDDT)

Annual Report April 2013-March 2014

In its 12th year of operation WDDT, a charitable company limited by guarantee, has continued to sustain and develop projects in pursuit of its charitable objects, which are set out below:

  • To promote general charitable purposes for the benefit of the community of Wareham and the surrounding area, and to provide relief from poverty and disadvantage, and to advance the education of its residents of all ages, and in particular to provide opportunities for the aforementioned residents to participate fully in the life of their community in ways which address and alleviate social and economic deprivation.

  • To promote the benefit of the inhabitants of Wareham and the surrounding area by the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure time occupation of such persons who have need of such facilities by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disability, poverty or social and economic circumstances or for the public at large in the interests of social welfare and with the object of improving the condition of life of the said inhabitants.


The Trustees who served on the Board of WDDT in 2013-2014 are:
Philip Daubeny (Chair)
Lara Manningham-Buller (Treasurer)
Martin Adams
Bryan Bashford
Cllr. Shelley Cranshaw
Sue Elmes
Myrna Gomes-Maria
Cllr. Mike Lovell
Guy Ryder
Ray Scragg
Peter Scupholme
. . . but we always need more Trustees


Any individual who lives or works in the Trust’s area of benefit (which covers most of the administrative area of Purbeck District) is eligible to join the Trust, as too are local businesses. The Trust has a membership of around 60 individuals and 20 businesses as of October 2011 . . . but we always need more Members.

Staff, Volunteers and Other Support

The Trust continued to employ a part-time Development Manager to ease the day-to-day pressure on the Trustees. Otherwise the achievements of 2013-2014 were due to the voluntary efforts of Trustees, supported by other volunteers, partner organisations and donations of labour, materials and the use of equipment . . . but we always need more volunteers.


The activities of WDDT over this year have been:

  • Performance & Picnic Area

  • Priory Community Meadow

  • Redcliffe Riverside Path

  • Wareham Bears

  • Wareham in Bloom

  • Wareham Town Pound

  • Wareham’s Saxon Walls

Performance & Picnic Area

This continues to be used on a regular basis by those enjoying a picnic; team-building groups such as Brenscombe Outdoor and Cumulus, entertainers such as the Town Band and Music Festival, an outdoor Church Service, and has also been used yet again for the regional Finals of the ‘Southern Town Criers Competition’, and has already been booked for a similar event in 2014, as well as for the Carnival, Wareham Wednesdays and Wild About Wareham organised by Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Priory Meadow

During this year the revised ‘Management & Maintenance Plan’ for Priory Meadow
has continued to be followed, though sadly again for a second winter very restricted due to the meadow being underwater in part for many months. The plan, based on the agreed need to ‘facilitate the improvement of its natural biodiversity’, is based on the activities that need to take place on a month by month basis ie grass cutting, ditch clearing, tree pruning, etc. In support of this the students of the Purbeck Centre, Wareham, have been working on the meadow, utilising tools donated to WDDT by B&Q through their ‘Good Neighbourhood’ community support scheme. They have been ably supported by students from visiting schools, and volunteers from the local community especially John Legg who, as last year, and the year before, deserves a special mention.

Redcliffe Riverside Path

The necessary funding for the complete redevelopment of the path was raised, largely thanks to Viridor Credits and Dorset County Council, and the work done by Malcolm Selby, on time and within budget, and the path was re-opened at a well attended ceremony just in time for Easter 2013. Since then it has been used by hundreds of people every day and has received nothing but high praise.

Phase Two of the project, the installation of three interpretation boards alongside the path, is well underway and it is envisaged that the boards will be in place by early summer 2014.

Wareham Bears

Until the mid 90s the Wareham Bears were quite a tourist attraction within the town, and still people come from all over the world to see them, thinking that they are still here, when in fact they were at Wooky Hole in Somerset . . . but not anymore . . . THE WAREHAM BEARS HAVE COME HOME.

WDDT purchased the Bears from Wooky Hole in 2011 and brought them home. They are now enjoying their second year of their new life as guests of Miss Barnard at the Blue Pool, and as such will be paying an annual amount to WDDT which will be put towards further community support projects.

A small ‘marketing team’ of John Scott and Philip Daubeny from WDDT, and Miss Barnard and Carolyn Snook from the Blue Pool, will meet regularly to look at further ways of promoting the Bears and raising further funds for WDDT.

WDDT have also created their own Wareham Bears web site to promote the Bears and raise funds.

Wareham in Bloom

Again in 2013 the WDDT projects of Priory Meadow and Hauses Field, plus the new interpretation boards alongside the Saxon walls, helped Wareham in Bloom towards their Britain in Bloom entry.

Wareham Town Pound

The project to rejuvenate the Town Pound in Pound Lane, Wareham, by installing ‘life-size’ durable all-weather models of farm animals, in partnership with the students studying art at the Purbeck School, was completed in October 2013 and officially unveiled by HM Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers, at a well attended ceremony. All the funding needed for the project, in excess of £4,000.00, was all raised by community donations, something that one and all should be very proud of.

Wareham’s Saxon Walls

The project to install seven interpretation boards alongside Wareham’s Saxon walls was completed in September 2013 and, as with the Town Pound, were officially unveiled by HM Lord Lieutenant of Dorset in early October.

Phase Two of the project, to create an educational booklet from the material used on the boards, is well under way and the booklet will be published in May 2014, retailing at £2.00 per copy, with al least £1.00 going back into community support projects. Both phases of the project have been largely funded by Viridor Credits and the Trust and the community are very much appreciative of their on-going support.

Sandford Woods Foot Paths

Following the success of the Redcliffe Path redevelopment the Trust has been approached by Wareham St Martin Parish Council with a request to redevelop foot paths within Sandford Woods. Although at an early stage it is envisaged that this project can be completed by late 2014/early 2015.

Emergency Flood Bank Repairs

In January 2013 the severe flooding of the lower Frome valley, coupled with ‘wave action’ caused by strong winds, overtopped the flood bank between Wareham and Redcliffe, on top of which runs our new Redcliffe path. As there was a real danger of the flood bank being breached and the path being badly eroded a group of some 30 community volunteers, under the leadership of the Trust, and with the help of local businesses and materials, managed to do an emergency repair. Due to further flooding this had to be re-done some weeks later but with a promise from the Environment Agency that they would put in place a more robust repair before the winter of 2014/2015.

Other projects ay an early stage include the redevelopment of the walled garden at the rear of Wareham Library, the continuation of the Redcliffe path around the water meadows to Stoborough, and the raising of the Performance & Picnic Area on the south bank of the Frome to avoid an increasing risk of flooding.


The WDDT Board of Trustees would like to express sincere thanks to many individual volunteers, and too many local businesses, charities, individuals and statutory organisations for their hard work, partnership and donations to the Trust over the past year. The Trust’s work continues to benefit from the advice of Dorset Community Action, of which we are a member organisation. WDDT is also a full member of the Development Trusts Association.

We are also extremely grateful to all the local, regional and national trusts, charities and other funders that have given us their support, or placed their confidence in our ability to develop and sustain complex projects. We are looking forward to the challenges of 2014-2015, and the benefits we are sure that the Trust will bring to the communities of Wareham and the surrounding areas of Purbeck.

John Scott
1st November 2014

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