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  • By 2080 the climate may resemble that of present day Portugal. Beech trees, common in Dorset and a much-loved feature of the landscape, will decline. At the same time chalk stream networks are likely to contract, leading to a decline in freshwater species such as the Atlantic stream crayfish.
  • Summer droughts may, however, be accompanied by intense winter rain storms leading to increased soil erosion affecting the natural environment and presenting challenges for famous features like the Iron Age hill forts of Maiden Castle and Hambledon Hill.
  • To help the area adapt it will become increasingly important to improve the condition of existing habitats and create new habitat areas. A programme of planting locally native, but drought-tolerant replacements for existing mature trees may well be required.

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