Q. I am doing a school/college/university project and need your help.
A. Happy to help but first get what you can from the usual public or semi-public sources.
See the LINKS page for many of the following.
For example, the Hengistbury Head Centre is a specialised educational provider actually on the site with splendid resources, expertise and courses.
Both Bournemouth Council and Christchurch Council are responsible for managing the area, a public open space and have produced excellent literature in the past. Each council is required to produce a management plan. Bournemouth Council produces every few years an updated and exhaustive Hengistbury Head Management Plan.
Christchurch Council produces the Mudeford Sandbank Management Plan (some 60 pages). The Mudeford Quay Management Plan and the Stanpit Marsh management plans are also published by Christchurch Council. You should offer payment for these reports,because they are so substantial, or seek out copies deposited in the local public libraries.
Hengistbury Head has its own resident Ranger, employed by Bournemouth Council and the professional Ranger Service has some educational responsibility, with a full programme of walks and talks.
The new Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre And Interpretation Centre is a resource planned to fulfill this function. There is a newly formed 'Friends of Hengistbury Head' to whom enquires may be directed. Similarly in the harbour Stanpit Marsh has a friends organisation, called the Friends of Stanpit Marsh.
Intermittently articles in our newspapers refer to books and materials of interest. See the archive index under bibliographies. Such books, even when out of print, may be available through your local public or institution library, usually for a small fee.
The local museums are known to have resources of value, although they are at present not usually on show to the public. Bournemouth boasts the Russell-Cotes Museum and Christchurch the Red House Museum.
Because the area is on the border between Dorset and Hampshire, both County Records Offices need to be consulted by the serious researcher. Dorset County Records Office is in Dorchester and Hampshire's is in Winchester.
Local educational providers, for example the Bournemouth & Poole College of Further Education, and Bournemouth University, have libraries and departments for the determined enquirer.
Christchurch and Bournemouth each have at least one Local History Society and there is the excellent Bournemouth Natural Science Society with its two libraries for the student with plenty of time.
Do not forget organisations like English Nature and English Heritage. It is, for example, possible to visit the National Monuments Record at Swindon in Wiltshire, if you have sufficient time and determination.
Specialist subjects usually have a responsible national or local body to approach, for example the Dorset Herpetological Trust if you are interested in reptiles.
On the web are a growing number of sites of interest (see the LINKS page for a few), but bear in mind one serious enquirer recently took 12 hours to find the map he wanted. Perhaps he should have spoken to me, for your editor has some 200+ files most of which he is happy to make available on a need-to-know basis to the bona-fide enquirer (see Press Pack for list).
Be warned, you will first be expected to have searched this site and visited at least the local public libraries with your enquiry, if at all possible.
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