Protecting & restoring nature more essential than ever

Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is facing huge and extraordinary challenges during coronavirus

Like everyone, the Trust is dealing with unprecedented challenges caused by coronavirus. Restoring nature across Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull has become harder than ever during the pandemic. The UK is already one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, and the lockdown is posing further challenges for our work in the local area. At the same time, people are relying on nature to help look after their physical and mental health during lockdown and reconnecting with nature at a scale not seen for decades.

Many Trust staff are furloughed and those that remain in post are focused on ensuring the charity survives through these difficult times and emerges in a place of strength to continue its crucial work. Meanwhile, vital work has had to be put on hold with all nature reserve management paused, education and events cancelled, volunteering ceased until further notice, and all partnership projects stopped. In addition, both Trust visitor centres and cafes at Brandon Marsh and Parkridge have temporarily closed following Government advice. The Trust also previously commented on planning applications and the impact of HS2 across the county and its resource in this area has been temporarily reduced because of the impact of Covid-19.

The current pandemic has really highlighted the important role that nature plays in people’s daily lives. We’ve been inundated with people sharing examples of how they’ve re-discovered nature on their doorstep, whether it be out of their window, in their garden or their local green space, which is fantastic! What is clear is that during this challenging time nature is providing that vital role of supporting people’s mental and physical wellbeing. One positive in all of this is the increase in awareness of the amazing nature on our doorstep. We hope that as we come through this pandemic together, people will have a renewed connection with wildlife that they can take forward in their daily lives.

You’re never more than six miles away from a Warwickshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve if you live in our patch and we’re delighted that so many people have been able to access their local reserve on foot as part of their daily exercise. Last year we supported 23,000 people to engage with nature through our events and education programme. We’re hopeful that our new approach - inspiring people to engage with nature via our social media channels and website - will enable more people to maintain that connection through these difficult times. We know how difficult it is for families stuck at home during the lockdown and we’re providing loads of creative ways to entertain your family through engaging with nature. These ideas can give you inspiration at home and as part of your daily exercise.
Ian Jelley
Director of Living Landscapes

With the Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries Bills all now delayed, we have real concerns about whether these critical pieces of legislation will become law – and enforcement bodies will be in place – before the Brexit transition period comes to end on December 31st. The challenges faced by the natural environment have never been greater and we need support from both the Government and the public. We are continuing to work with our national partners within the Wildlife Trust movement to raise awareness of the importance of this vital legislation and we hope that the Government will take steps to prioritise this area of work as soon as the world starts returning to normal again.

We’d like to take the opportunity to thank our dedicated supporters and funders for their continued support during these difficult times.  We’ve been really humbled that people have continued to renew their membership, and to those who have chosen to make additional donations to support us through this challenging time. Our funders have also shown their support in providing flexibility around our project work and we’re hopeful that we can start delivering positive outcomes for wildlife and people again as soon as possible.

For inspiration, browse our nature ideas for tips on how to keep in touch with nature during lockdown, and watch our wildlife webcams to check in on your favourite animals.