PEOPLE will be coming together for a spot of conservation work this autumn.

RSPB reserves in Dorset are inviting residents to join in practical winter tasks.

This could involve discarding of invasive plants, clearing heathlands overrun with gorse, pine and bracken, or helping to maintain the already rich habitat.

Bev Lagden, RSPB Hyde’s Heath Project officer said: “One way to stave off winter blues and colds could be to join in with a winter work party for fresh air, exercise, company and hot tea or coffee while you help provide homes for nature.”

Increasing evidence from across the world suggests that people suffer if they are disconnected from nature.

Our current lifestyles and work styles place us further from this connection, with less time outside, and more time spent on technology, especially in winter months.

Locally the RSPB wants to build this connection through linking health and nature with its new ‘Hyde’s Heath’ Project, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

She added: “Evidence continues to grow that spending time in nature can improve health and wellbeing.

“Someone might attend a regular event of ours like winter work parties to alleviate depression or social isolation and find their moderate knee pain feels better for it as well. But it’s not about why you’re here, it’s about how you can help.”

Volunteers should wear warm clothes, sturdy shoes or wellington boots and bring a water bottle, waterproofs and a packed lunch.

Protective gloves, tools and snacks will be provided.

Here’s a list of the upcoming winter tasks:

n Thursday, October 17, small pine task - Great Ovens, Sandford: Across to Sandford and the car park at Morden Road forest track near Lawson’s Clump BH20 7AS Grid Ref SY9234 9040 at 10am for Great Ovens small Pine task with Rick Sharpe of ARC. Portaloo will be on site.

n Thursday, October 24, pine pulling - Arne: Join Liz Coates for pine pulling. Location to be confirmed.

n Thursday, October 31, scrub bashing - Durlston Country Park, Swanage

For more information, or dates throughout November and December into 2020, visit: or contact, 01929 408737.