National Trust launches major appeal for nature following coronavirus losses

The National Trust has launched #EveryoneNeedsNature – an appeal to raise awareness of how connection to nature enriches lives and how vital it is to preserve and protect nature and wildlife, and to raise funds for nature conservation.

The six week campaign, which started on the 7th September, signals the start of more sustained fundraising appeals by the conservation charity, will focus on nature and wellbeing and on the universal need for nature.  It will seek donations from the public – both existing supporters and new ones who have an increased interest in nature following lockdown.  

The Trust will also continue to appeal for donations to help protect its houses and collections and emphasise the importance of people joining and remaining as members to fund this vital conservation work. 

Findings from a YouGov poll commissioned by the National Trust in June revealed that 38 per cent of adults said spending time in nature was the moment they looked forward to most each day during lockdown.  Also that since lockdown, a third (33 per cent) of respondents said that their interest in nature had increased.

The Everyone Needs Nature campaign follows the bold ambitions set out by the Trust to mark its 125th anniversary in January including planting 20 million trees and creating green corridors for nature.  

The subsequent fundraising campaign that had been planned and paid for was then put on hold due to lockdown and it was the charity’s nature conservation work which was hardest hit with projects having to be paused or cancelled as a result of severe financial losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.     

Celia Richardson, Director of Communications and Insight at the  National Trust said: “The Everyone Needs Nature campaign is designed to capture a moment in people’s lives when they are more aware than ever of the importance of close connection with nature. We want people to continue the everyday connections with nature they’ve made during lockdown, and remind them that nature and wildlife urgently need protection.  

“We know from our research that spending time noticing the nature around them has been a real feature of life for people during lockdown.  It’s important that these habits are maintained in the future – they’re vital to people’s wellbeing.

“We can’t ignore the crisis in nature that we were faced with long before the pandemic – more than a quarter of Britain’s native mammals – including the beaver, red squirrel, water vole and hedgehog are still endangered and at risk of extinction.  Creatures like these are vital to the survival of nature’s fragile ecosystems.”

Donations will be used for a variety of nature conservation work programmes; £5 will buy and plant a tree, £10 will help maintain coastal footpaths and £15 will help with wildflower meadow creation.

Ms Richardson, added: “We are determined to find ways to achieve the goals we announced in January, at the start of our 125th year – which included planting 20 million trees in the next decade and creating green corridors in and near cities, as well as continuing with our work to create 25,000 hectares of priority habit by 2025.  

“Alongside this we want to be able to continue our work on caring for rivers, looking after rare and precious species, such as the large blue butterfly.  And we want to continue with our work on reintroducing species like the beavers released at Holnicote in Somerset in January.

“Membership subscriptions and visits to properties will continue to support conservation of buildings and collections – but our work on nature conservation has never been more vital.”

For more information about the campaign and to make a donation visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk and click on the donate button on the home page. 

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