Priory Meadow is situated in the parish of Arne
on the south bank of the River Frome, opposite The Quay, which is
arguably Wareham's best known spot. To see a map,
well as being within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it's also
part of an Area of Special Scientific Interest. These factors had
stopped anything happening on the site for many years, and it had
become heavily overgrown with brambles.
In a generous gesture the landowner offered the
site to WDDT on a long lease at a nominal cost. Initially we both
hoped that the area could simply be turned into a neat garden, giving
residents and visitors a place to sit and admire the view.
Unfortunately, the restrictions that had already stopped any other use
of the site also stopped us doing this.
than just give in we have tried instead to create an area where people
can look over the adjacent water meadows, and can see and learn about
the plants and animals that inhabit them.
We worked hard with English Nature and Purbeck
District Council to reach agreement on what could be done, and we had
invaluable help with the design from
We've also had an inspiring amount of help from
the local community. This has ranged from individuals who've worked on
the site, to suppliers who've let us have materials at cost price or
less, to contractors who've worked for little or no profit, or even
for nothing, and to organisations who've given donations. In
particular we had a very generous donation from Mrs Eve Edmunds, in
memory of her late husband Maurice, who is commemorated on a plaque.
We're just a group of
local volunteers, and we can always use more help