Wild Island Lockdown

Dorset Magazine|July 2020

Wild Island Lockdown
As the rest of the UK went into lockdown Brownsea Island’s wildlife came out to play
Sally Welbourn

At the time of the nationwide lockdown on 24 March, Brownsea Island had just reopened to the public. The boatloads of visitors that had been arriving daily from Poole ceased and the island’s welltrodden paths, bird hides and beaches were suddenly deserted. The only people left were those who live and work on Brownsea, they were now in lockdown together with the wildlife that inhabits and visits this beautiful island in Poole Harbour.

As the weeks passed, wildlife has adjusted to its new-found space and spread itself out; bracken now grows between the gaps on the boardwalks and red squirrels are spending more time on walkways and in areas visiting humans would normally occupy. As spring gives way to early summer the resident wildlife has gradually taken over the island, unphased by the pandemic playing out over the water on the mainland.

Wardens and volunteers that remain on the island are sharing the sights, sounds and stories of wildlife arriving, breeding and feeding, via social media. This has given us a unique insight into life in lockdown on Brownsea Island until we can visit once again. Read the wildlife blog from Luke Johns, a DWT Reserves Officer on Brownsea at dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/blog.



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July 2020