Wareham Town Trust

What is Wareham Town Trust?

The Trust is a voluntary group of individuals who care about their town and want to see Wareham and its surroundings conserved and enhanced. The Trust has some 200 members and has an active committee.

  • Do you care about Wareham and its surroundings?
  • Do you want Wareham’s character conserved and enhanced?
  • Do you want Wareham to be vital and viable and provide the services you need?

Petition to save Wareham's Railway Crossing
See details below, please sign and share this petition.

PETITION Keep Wareham’s railway crossing open!

The long-awaited report on the feasibility of automating Wareham’s Railway Crossing is still not available, a whole year after it was commissioned! Edward Fox OBE who championed the campaign in 2016 to keep the crossing open said , “The crossing is a life-line for local residents. A permanent solution must be found to keep this vital crossing open. Network Rail and Dorset Council must do all they can to make this happen and secure what is clearly an absolute necessity for the many hundreds that use it on a daily basis.” 

At a recent meeting of some 80 local residents in Wareham Town Hall, residents again called for action to keep Wareham’s Railway Crossing open. Network Rail’s strategic study in December 2021 proposed closure of the crossing but a commitment was made in 2022 by Dorset Council and Network Rail to seek a permanent solution to keeping the crossing open. Maintaining the surface level crossing is also included in Wareham’s Neighbourhood Plan. The Crossing is the only route for pedestrians and cyclists between the 2 halves of Wareham. It is vital for those who absolutely rely on it to access jobs, schools, shops, doctors, dentists etc every day as well as for those using the station. 

In March 2023 Network Rail commissioned a report into the feasibility of automating the crossing as requested by the community and following meetings with Michael Tomlinson MP and Dorset Council. In December it was reported that the report had not yet been released. To date (a whole year since the report was commissioned) the report has still not been made public. Residents are understandably becoming anxious about the outcome of the report and wish to restate their call for a permanent solution to keep the crossing open. 

Wareham Town Trust has launched a petition on www.change.org. to show the support for keeping the crossing open. You can also sign copies in the Post Offices in North Street, Wareham and at Carey.   The petition can be found here: HERE  
Click here to read the Briefing Paper
What are its aims?
Originally formed in 1987 to seize the opportunities presented by the completion of the bypass to make the town more attractive to everyone, the Trust believes that building on the town’s assets as a historic market town will secure its future prosperity.
The Trust holds 2 or 3 meetings a year on topical issues or on the history of the town. Raising awareness of current proposals affecting the town is a particular aim. For example the Trust held a meeting for members to meet with developers when a major development was proposed at Worgret. The Trust also joined with others to hold a town meeting regarding the proposed Town Enhancements Scheme. 
Planning applicationsThe Trust keeps an eye on current planning proposals, policies and other issues affecting the town. It also meets regularly with representatives of the Town, District and County Councils and the Chamber of Trade regarding current issues. Click here for more information.

Historic buildings The Trust was actively involved in securing the establishment of a Heritage and Information Centre in Trinity Church when this became vacant to ensure continued public access to this historic building. 
 Wareham in Bloom
The Town Trust helped to set up Wareham in Bloom and provides hanging baskets on Wareham Library each summer. One of the first Town Trust projects was to plant trees on the northern approaches to Wareham

Wareham Saturday Market
The Trust helped to start this market some years ago, is represented on the Steering Committee and supported its recent relocation to The Quay.
Community involvement
The Trust keenly supports community involvement in local initiatives such as the project to improve Hauses Field for the benefit of all users.
Heritage Open Days
Every year during September the Trust helps organise Heritage Open Days, opening buildings of historic and architectural interest to the public.
 Wareham Community Plan
This was developed following extensive consultation. The Trust is represented on Wareham Community Partnership and will be assisting in a number of the projects included in the plan.
Wareham Town Walls
The Trust has helped with projects to protect, enhance and raise awareness about Wareham’s historic monument, the town’s Saxon Walls.
The Trust has supported the extension of the existing town centre supermarket and retention of Wareham’s independent shops. It has resisted an out of town supermarket which it feels would affect the vitality and viability of the town centre.
If you would like to be part of an active community and help out, please join our membership.