This is last year's event 2021! Please go to: RSPB for this year's event - Sat 3rd and Sun 4th Dec 2022.
Can you help RSPB Arne save nature this Christmas?
The leaves are starting to fall, the wellies have come back out of the cupboard, gloves and scarves have been dug out from the bottom of the drawer; that can only mean one thing... Pull a Pine!
This year Pull a Pine will be on the 4th December along with our Christmas Fayre - your ticket allows you to collect trees for your friends and family (or as many as you can fit in your car! (The Christmas Fayre will also take place on December 5th, where our pre-picked, sustainable Christmas pine trees from Arne will be for sale.)
This year Pull a Pine will be on Hyde's Heath. Opened in May 2019, this new and emerging heathland is in need of some TLC. Although already a haven for our heathland specialists, it started as a conifer plantation and many pines have returned, but with your helping hands and Christmas spirit this heathland can continue to flourish.
Our Pull a Pine village will be on the heath, with live music, free Christmas crafting, refreshments, food and mulled cider. Be sure to head up there for your tool talk and coffee to get you ready for the day. Follow signs upon arrival and head for parking up at the Arne Farm. After a day of pine clearing and Christmas cheering, you can visit our fayre situated around the café and shop garden area. We've even provided you with a Pine 'cloakroom' Pick-up where you can leave you chosen Christmas tree as you get the car! Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a short lead.
We are all looking forward to the day and we hope you are too! The event runs from 10:00am - 3:30pm. (Last entry to site at 2:30pm).
Advance booking is essential as spaces are limited.
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. Since the RSPB acquired the land in 2019, we have been removing the trees and restoring it 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. The gorse is coppiced (cut right back, which enables the plant to grow once more from scratch) every 15 years to keep it in tip top condition for wildlife. Our ancestors also did this as gorse burns incredibly hot and was used to fuel bread ovens. The heather is cut or at regular intervals to create a patchwork of heights and ages of plants to benefit different species.
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.
Arne’s heathlands generally have a greater number of grasses, rushes and sedges compared with flowering plants. The dry heath is dominated by heather, bell heather and some gorse; The wet heath 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.
Can I buy a ticket on the day?
No - Tickets will not be sold on the day. Advance booking is essential as spaces are limited.
Can I also go for a walk around the rest of the reserve with my ticket?
YES – if you arrive early, help to pull some pines, find your special tree and enjoyed the village entertainment. Then your pull a pine tickets grants you access to the rest of the reserve. Head down to the Shipstal shoreline to get away from the festivities of the village and get back to nature.
Can I buy refreshments in the Pull a Pine village?
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. 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. But if pulling up saplings is not your thing, you can base yourself in the village listening to live music and making festive decorations in our kids crafting zone.
Can I take more than 1 tree home?
YES PLEASE – in return for your help in clearing the heath, you can take home as many trees as you like. The only question is, how many can you fit in your car?
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. The walk will then be approximately. 300m to the Pull a Pine village over uneven ground and up a small but steep incline.
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 the Pull a Pine Village?
YES – we will have unisex ‘festival’ toilets and an accessible toilet in the Village. 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 Hyde’s Heath 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 in the Pull a Pine Village?
YES – We can take Card for the catering and shop stall payments.
How can I contact the organiser with any questions?
Email email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 – There will be an RSPB stall on the heath this year, but for the full range from the shop then it will still be open for you. The café will also be open over the weekend as normal.
Our experiences at RSPB Arne follow the latest government guidance on COVID-security.
Hand sanitiser will be available for use.
Please ensure that you follow the most recent government guidelines on meeting in groups.
Test and Trace: We are helping the NHS Test and Trace programmes in each of the UK countries. At the time of booking, we will ask for a name and contact details of all event attendees. All personal data will be held securely and confidentially by us. We will only release the data to the NHS if absolutely necessary and will securely destroy it after 21 days as required.
When booking please provide a valid phone number and e-mail as your booking confirmation will be sent via e-mail. We need a valid phone number (landline and mobile) in case we need to get hold of you urgently to update you with changes/cancellation. Thank you for your co-operation.
IMPORTANT: We respect your privacy and will not sell your personal data to any third party. Any personal data you provide here is collected and used only for the purposes of booking this event. Your details will only be used by this event's RSPB co-ordinator and will not be shared with anyone else.
For full terms and conditions click here: Microsoft Word - Events Terms and Conditions (rspb.org.uk)