OUR VISION

 

We have a rich treasure of unspoilt countryside, historic sites, wildlife, and quality local food.

 

The White Hart Link is a 50 mile / 80 km walking route which has been devised as a circular link taking in the five market towns of North Dorset and the villages between. Using existing public rights of way and quiet lanes, it passes through some of the iconic countryside of the Blackmore Vale.

 

The project will engage with local communities and businesses, and encourage initiatives to create and participate in projects involved with health, education, heritage, art and tourism. The White Hart Link will establish a uniting and sustainable project for the enhancement and enjoyment of the Blackmore Vale in North Dorset.

 

Creating and promoting this long distance circular trail, with the support of the DCC Countryside Rangers, it will involve local communities, landowners and enterprises along the route. Over the next few years, the White Hart Link will be route-marked, with improvements and ancillary projects begun.

Our Aim

Using existing routes, we intend to deliver on our four outcomes;

1. Community

A community pride dividend that arises through Involvement of community groups and volunteers in the development of the route to “best in class” standard

2. Health

A health dividend for local users.

3. Tourism

A tourist dividend for local commercial enterprises especially food and accommodation.

4. Preservation

The protection and preservation of a heritage rural asset, that is the Dorset footpath way.

Who Are We?

The White Hart Link project is a volunteer led initiative (with the support of DCC’s Coast and Countryside team) working closely with charities and community groups, clubs and societies.

How Does it Work?

WHL partners will undertake a series of projects that include repair and replacement of stiles and footpath furniture, path route identification, path repair and clearance. In relevant areas and having sensitive regard to the existing aesthetics of the paths, we may install other amenities (including for example, rest spaces, information boards, and some tree planting.)

We intend to do much of this practical work through Community groups undertaking projects, with a special focus on younger groups (for example: Guides and Scouts, children with disabilities, school groups, members of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme) in so doing giving these children a sense of pride in their own efforts, as well as an appreciation of the intrinsic beauty of their rural environment and its incredible history. This “ownership” and sense of value should also help to reduce the chance of vandalism or anti-social behaviours.

A new tourism asset for the region

Marketing strategy and tools will be developed to attract our audience(s) to the WHL and other related assets (heritage sites, food, accommodation etc.) to include web site and web-based campaign(s) primarily aimed at younger walkers.

To support and sustain this effort over the longer term, we will build a project infrastructure with volunteer membership, much of it drawn from experts in the field, including those in local government responsible for delivering the Government’s strategies for managing rural assets.

Our ethos

The active group is made up largely of volunteers and aims to be as independent as is practical, working on behalf of the community, but recognising the need for statutory support and hence compliance with their regulations.