Main Partners

Communities Living Sustainably

Dorset Community Action

The lead organisation and the accountable body for the Dorset CLS programme. DCA is an independent voluntary organisation and a charitable body. It has a membership of voluntary organisations, community groups, social enterprises and local authorities from across Dorset. DCA is committed to encouraging and supporting the interests of local communities in consultation, transport, community facilities, regeneration, sustainable living and social issues. DCA also initiates and delivers new services that respond to local needs. DCA is also the Council for Voluntary Service for Dorset and supports the development of the voluntary sector through information, networking, representation, building capacity, and training.

Dorset AONB

The Dorset AONB Partnership was established in January 2003 to conserve and enhance the natural beauty and heritage of the Dorset AONB. As part of the Dorset CLS programme, the Dorset AONB is leading the Community Woodlands project.

The Dorset Coast Forum

Renowned both nationally and internationally for its innovative work in Integrated Coastal Zone Management. The DCF developed and implements a strategy to preserve Dorset’s coastal resources whilst developing a vibrant coastal economy and supporting coastal communities.  The Forum was also the source and catalyst of the successful bid to UNESCO to propose and develop the Jurassic Coast as a World Heritage Site. For CLS, the DCF is delivering a climate change adaptation plan relating to the local fishing industry.

Specifically the Dorset Public Health Team (which has now moved to Dorset County Council) leads the Public Health strand of the CLS Project to better understand the contribution of various environmental factors on the health of populations in Dorset. This project will analyse the combined pressures of a rapidly aging population and impact of heat waves and periods of cold weather, and explore the means of effective adaptation to minimise adverse consequences that may be associated with climate change.

Dorset County Council

Specifically its Sustainability, Sustainable Property and Children Services Teams have extensive experience in all key areas of the CLS project and lead on the Climate Change Adaptation, Renewable Energy and Eco-schools strands.  

Dorset Agenda 21 (DA21) grew out of one of the Local Agenda 21 organisations set up after the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 providing support for voluntary and community green groups and connecting their activity with wider public and private sector initiatives, in particular through the recent  ‘Green Assist’ project. Dorset Agenda 21 leads the Local Food and Greener Choices, & Energy Efficiency strands of the CLS project. The organisation will also play a key role in connecting the learning of the CLS project to the wider Sustainable Dorset Network. 

Transition Town Bridport (TTB)

An official Transition Initiative, made up of a small group with educational, business and civic experience. TTB is responsible for delivering Draught Busters and Open homes activities as part of the Greener Choices and Energy Efficiency and warmth work areas.

Transition Town Dorchester (TTD)

An official Transition Initiative which runs its community farm with volunteers and has proved to be very successful at engaging with the wider community. For this project, TTD is responsible for providing training and activities to support people in Dorchester to live more sustainably, through developing their existing farm.  TTD also uses its experience gained through involvement in projects like the energy group to support the CLS Greener Choices and Energy Efficiency work areas.

Wessex Community Assets

(WCA) offers support and advice to organisations wishing to obtain community investment.  WCA has wide experience in areas such as community renewables and community food initiatives with expertise in business planning and legal structures and extensive experience of supporting communities to develop schemes. WCA is responsible for the development of a new social enterprise, Dorset Community Energy, which will be set up as a community renewable energy project developer including solar PV installations on schools and community buildings. WCA also provides community development support and social enterprise advice to community food enterprises, as well as providing support for the raising of social investment finance.

The West Dorset Partnership (WDP)

A partnership of voluntary and community, public and private sector organisations working together to improve the quality of life in the district. WDP is responsible for strong links between the CLS project and wider partnerships in the two geographical areas of the project. The WDP is playing a key role in disseminating information about the project and its activities through the partnership’s networks and members as well as sharing learning beyond the project boundaries. 

WSX Enterprise Ltd

A not for profit company with the sole objective to help and support businesses. WSX have significant experience in providing business support services and projects within both the private and public sector. They are working closely with local authorities and are directly engaged with the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership in providing business support in Dorset. Within the CLS Project, they are promoting renewable energy options to householders and businesses and raising the profile of local suppliers within this area as well as supporting business engagement in the development of the project’s Local Food Plan. 

Communities Living Sustainably 

Part of the Big Lottery Fund’s £50m Sustainable and Resilient Communities strategy, which aims to encourage behaviour change among individuals and communities so they can cope better with the environmental, economic and social impacts of a changing climate. 12 community partnerships of public, private and voluntary sector bodies have been awarded up to £1m each to deliver up to five years of community-led sustainability interventions. 

Groundwork UK

Leading  the Communities Living Sustainably Learning Partnership, which  also comprises New Economics Foundation (NEF),  the Federation for City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG), Buildings Research Establishment (BRE) and the Energy Saving Trust ( EST). Research themes include “understanding change and impact” and “learning how communities learn about sustainability”. 

Other Environment Resources

Sustainable Dorset, the website of Dorset Agenda 21 - a county wide sustainable development charity based in Dorchester. This site has three aims, to promote the amazing work of organisations in Dorset working on sustainability issues, to provide resources such as funding information for groups themselves, and to be a common point of reference for those working in this field.

Dorset AONB

Climate Change Southwest

Regen Southwest

What's it all about?

prev next

Working with local communities to address climate change in their local area.


A unique opportunity to partner Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) Dorset and position your organisation at the very heart of sustainable living in Dorset.


View our photo gallery and see what CLS Dorset has been up to.


Read the latest news from CLS Dorset.


See the latest sustainable events taking place in Dorset.


Supporting schools to take part in the internationally recognised Eco-School programme.


Providing local residents with information about what they can do to reduce their environmental impact at home.


Working with communities, local producer groups, healthworkers and business support organisations to make local food more accessible to local people.


Helping develop community renewable energy projects such as solar installations on school and community buildings.