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Pull a Pine 2023

Join us in one of the biggest conservation events in the country. Invasive pine trees, planted in forestry plantations, have taken over our heathland. By removing pines, we can help save some of our rare heathland species.

Get your wellies on, dig out your hats and scarves and join us for a wonderful festive day in nature. This year's Pull a Pine will be held over 2 days on the weekend of 2&3 December, giving you more choice on which day or days to book.

The event runs from 10:00am - 3:00pm. (Last entry to site at 2:00pm). There will be live music, Christmas crafting, refreshments, hot tasty food, and mulled cider and most importantly the opportunity to do your bit for nature.

Also... don't forget to visit the Arne Café Garden for our very own Christmas Fayre - full of stalls with locally made artisan and festive items for you to browse at your leisure, as well as carol singing and delicious festive foods.

Don't Miss Out! We are offering 15% off in the Arne Shop for all ticket holders during Pull a Pine. Please show your wristband in the shop to get your discount or visit the pop-up shop within the event village. Please note this offer includes RSPB binoculars and RSPB spotting scopes and it’s a great chance to get all your Christmas shopping done. Offer excludes branded binoculars, scopes, sale items, stamps and gift cards.

Children to be accompanied at all times by an adult please.

Why are we cutting down trees?

The trees we are cutting down are Scots pines and were planted on heathland to create a commercial forestry plantation.  We work to remove the pine trees and restore the heath back to its original state.  Heathland is a heavily managed habitat and it will quickly turn into woodland if left to its own devices. We maintain this amazing home for wildlife across 1000 hectares on the Isle of Purbeck.

So where do you come in? 

These jobs, and many others, are carried out by a small team of RSPB staff and volunteers, year after year for wildlife, but there is one job that we cannot handle on our own - invasive pine trees. Every year thousands of tiny pine trees must be removed from RSPB Arne’s heathland by hand and we’re asking you and your family to lend us your hands this year!

Why is heathland so important?

Lowland heath is an important and rare habitat, and over 75% has been lost in the last 200 years. The remaining areas support an incredibly wide variety of species. This includes reptiles, migratory birds, scarce plants and over 5,000 species of insect, including the rare ladybird spider and the iconic silver-studded blue butterfly. The dryer areas of heath are dominated by bell heather and gorse; The wetter areas of heath are characterised by cross-leaved heather, Sphagnum species, bog asphodel and cotton-grasses. Many of the plants are uniquely suited to nutrient-poor, acidic conditions. Bog-loving plants such as the insectivorous round-leaved sundew can abound on heaths. Heathland supports the majority of the UK populations of nightjars, Dartford warblers and woodlarks. These birds’ nest either on the ground or in low growing vegetation and are vulnerable to disturbance. Other bird species use heathland on their migration or winter routes, such as ring ouzels and hen harriers. Heathlands are the most important habitat in the UK for reptiles, supporting all six species. Heathlands such as Arne have a good mosaic of vegetation types providing warm, open areas for basking, an abundance of prey and longer vegetation for shelter from predators and extremes of temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I also go for a walk around the rest of the reserve with my ticket?

YES – your pull a pine tickets grants you access to the rest of the reserve. 

Can I buy refreshments at Pull a Pine?

YES – We will have our outside kitchen up and running stocked with seasonal, fresh winter warmers.  We can’t tell you what it will be yet as we won’t know the menu until we know what’s available.   But we will have mulled cider and hot and cold drinks.  Subscribe to our Facebook feed for menu announcements.

Can I bring my own tools?

YES – You can bring your own tools, but you cannot bring any power tools of any variety.   This includes electric, petrol and battery operated tools. No axes or billhooks, hand held bow saws or hand saws only please. We will have a good supply of bow saws and loppers at the tools station, and they will be handed out once you’ve had your tools safety talk.

Is there a lower age limit for children?

NO – There is something for everyone, little ones can just clamber over the heathland.  We also have loads of tiny saplings just perfect for little hands. 

Can I take more than 1 tree home? YES – in return for your help in clearing the heath, you can take home as many trees as you like. 

What clothing should I wear? To get to the pines, we will be opening up the heathland for to walk over.  You will be walking through low plants such as gorse and heather and you will be unable to always see your footing.   We recommend long trousers, sturdy footwear and layers!  Its hard work cutting and pulling pine and even if it looks cold, you’ll soon warm up once you’ve cut a few down!

Is there accessible parking?

Yes – a designated area for blue badge holder only will be created in the car park.  

What is the earliest I can arrive? The car park will open at 10:00am

What time is last entry to the site? The last entry time for cars into the car park will be 2pm.

Will there be toilets at Pull a Pine?

YES – we will have unisex ‘festival’ toilets and an accessible toilet.   But the shop toilets and the toilets in the main car park will also be open.

What Live music will be playing? There is live music on both days.  Subscribe to our Facebook or twitter accounts for announcements!

Can I bring my Dog?

YES - Dogs are welcome if they are on a short lead.  This event is a rare chance to explore Arne off the normal trails, but this does mean we will be getting closer to the wildlife, so its extra important for your dog to be on a short lead.

Can you accept cards? YES – We can take Card for the catering and shop stall payments.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions? Email arne@rspb.org.uk. All bookings must be made online. Please do not reply to any emails sent by the ticketing system.

What's the refund policy?

If we cancel an event for any reason, you will receive a full refund unless you have indicated at the point of purchase you wish to donate your ticket price to the RSPB. Should you need to cancel, then you will receive a full refund up to three days before the event, after which no refund is available. Cancellations must be made using the email address arne@rspb.org.uk

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

You don't have to print your ticket, but you do need to provide proof of purchase proof of your ticket with you, including the QR bar code on the ticket. RSPB members should bring their membership cards with them please.

Will the shop and café also be open during the weekend? YES. The café and shop will also be open over the weekend as normal. 

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