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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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at the Horse & Groom, Wareham
7.00pm Monday 4th February 2019

The Chair, Philip Daubeny (PD) welcomed all present, including Trustees and Members
He also gave special thanks to the Horse & Groom for providing the superb selection of sandwiches for the evening.

Philip Daubeny (Chair), Harold Forbes (Treasurer), Sue Elmes, Mike Lovell, Lara Manningham-Buller, Debbie Weller,
Shelley Cranshaw (Rep’ Arne Parish Council), John Scott (Development Manager)

Martin Adams, Frances Butler, Nicola Wiggins.

PD explained that the Minutes of the previous AGM held on 27th November 2017 has been approved by the Trustees in December 2017, and circulated to all Members prior to this AGM.

PD informed the audience that copies of the Annual Report were available on the evening and would also be available to be viewed on the WDDT web site in the near future. He then briefly reminded everyone of the purpose of the Trust, its geographical area of ‘benefit’, being most of Purbeck, although a lot of what we do is centred in or around Wareham, but that we need projects further afield.

HF reported that currently we are in financial ‘good order’ having £3,800 in the bank with all bills paid.

The income for the financial year 2017-2018 was £8,139, and the expenditure £25,800, caused by fund-raising for the Tree of Life & Laughter Community Garden accumulating in previous years in advance of it being spent during 2017-2018. The Wareham Bears remain our main asset and income from them, £3,000 a year, and other activities brought us to the present bank balance of £3,800. All accounts are up to date and have been presented to the Charity Commission and Companies House.

PD would like it minuted that HF’s work as Treasurer is very much appreciated by the Trust.

2017-2018 Activities Update

JS gave an update on the year that the Trust has had:

Tree of Life & Laughter Community Garden.

The work is now completed, being a mixture of flower beds and patio area, to be used by the community, local business, Library users and visitors as and when they want. Thus far it has been used by SEALIFE Weymouth, twice, Purbeck Art Weeks, WDDT Book & Craft Sale, and several times by the Library.

£500 has been donated by the Purbeck Rally for the purchase of benches, tables and a bird table. £200 has been donated by Wareham Rotary for the purchase of gazebos, and the new ‘Nearly New Book Trolley’, stocked with donated books, has thus far raised £400, part of which has been used to purchase a large outdoor storage box for the garden to keep the gazebos and tools in.

The latest mural created by local school children and installed during the hot summer of 2018 has suffered ‘glue failure’, probably due to the heat when being installed. The whole mural has fallen from the wall and smashed, but efforts are being made by Dawn Newlove and PAW to repair the damage and re-install.

Bucknowle Roman villa threshold remains.

Now completely re-presented with a trompe l’oeil, information board, educational leaflet and web site. They have since been entered into both Dorset Architectural Heritage Week and Heritage Open Days, with visitors being able to also collect a free copy of our Wareham Walls Walk booklet and Bucknowle leaflet.

Priory Community Meadow.

Lowther are contracted to cut the paths 6 times a year, and the whole meadow twice a year.
£1,000 has been donated by Tesco Bags of Help programme which has been used to purchase and install 50 new fence posts and a new information board. The Meadow and Redcliffe Path also won Gold in 2017 and Silver Gilt in 2018 in the Small Community Conservation Area, South & South East Britain in Bloom.

Much more on-going work has to be done on the Meadow.

Performance & Picnic Area

The old wooden seating now needs replacing and will be taken out and replaced with Purbeck stone ‘memorial’ benches in the same style as the existing benches. Any damaged block paving is/will be replaced by Purbeck District Council.
Wareham Town Pound.

This should now be the responsibility of Renaissance to be well maintained, but JS and PD need to discuss further with the new Renaissance Manager.
Late Summer Cruise.

Took place on Sunday 2nd September and raised £400 towards the Tree of Life garden. The next Late Summer Cruise will be in September 2020, as we have decided to hold this fund-raising event once very two years.


Tree of Life & Laughter Community Garden

Can the garden be used day and evening and by anybody? JS replied that was the case, it was intended for use by the community and others, within reason, and that he should be contacted to see if the use is OK and if the date/s required are available.
Priory Community Meadow

Can anything be done to improve the floral element within the meadow, currently very poor?
JS replied that a lot of time, effort, money and seeds have been used to try and do just that, but sadly the very wet nature of the area, the long shadows caste by the poplars, and the vigorous grass and reed growth don’t help.

Nearly New Book Trolley

Can the wording on the ‘90% OFF’ poster be re-worded to clarify that the books are donated and not from the Library?

JS said that he would rectify that within a week.

PD and JS then thanked all for attending.

The evening drew to a close at 8.30pm

John Scott
Development Manager
Wareham & District Development Trust
Rempstone Estate Office, Cow Lane, Wareham BH20 4RD
Tel: 01929 554236 E-mail:


Dear Members

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.

Meanwhile a quick update on what else we have been up to:

Wareham Walls Walk Booklet
The booklet, based on the Walls boards, continues to sell well and retails for £2 per copy with at least £1 from each sale going towards further community support projects. 2,000 booklets were printed and are available through Discover Purbeck and Horseys, so please pick up your copy today.

Dorset Architectural Heritage Week 2018
The Trust entered the Saxon Walls, Town Pound and Bucknowle Roman villa threshold stones into this year’s events.

All visitors to the Bucknowle Roman villa threshold stones were given a free Bucknowle leaflet.

Redcliffe Riverside Path
The path has proved a great success with the many thousands of walkers, and for the third year was awarded ‘Best Small Conservation Area, South & South East Britain in Bloom 2017’, and it and Priory Meadow form part of the Wareham in Bloom 2018 entry.

Priory Community Meadow
On-going management and maintenance is a problem and we do need more volunteers to help with fence mending, bridge painting, tree pruning, grass clearing, planting and general tidying. During September it is planned to replace fence posts and carry out bridge and information board repairs, with more major improvement work in 2019 if enough funding can be raised.

Late Summer Cruise
The cruise took place on Sunday 2nd September, and was great success raising a further £400 towards the garden upkeep. The weather was ideal, sunny with a slight breeze, the crew were magnificent, we even went out to sea and saw some of the Bournemouth Air Festival . . . and the fish’n’chips went down a treat as well. Next cruise in September 2020.

The Wareham Bears
The Bears are loving their home at The Blue Pool, and enjoying seeing the many thousands of visitors that come to see them, and say ‘hello’, and to raising revenue that goes towards further community projects. Thank you Bears.

Dear Members, as you know we always have a lot on our plate, but the one thing that we lack is volunteers.

We need volunteers to get there hands dirty and be prepared to dig, plant, paint, anything and everything that is needed.

We also need more Trustees. We already have a Board on ten but could really use another three or four. We meet once every two months for about two hours in the evening and simply discuss ‘the dreams’ on the table at the time, and if all are agreed we get on with the job and turn them into reality.

Could you be a Trustee, or indeed a volunteer?

If so please get in touch.

John Scott
Development Manager
Wareham & District Development Trust
Rempstone Estate Office, Cow Lane, Wareham BH20 4RD
Tel: 01929 554236 E-mail:


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