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A major appeal aimed at encouraging people to maintain links made with the natural world during lockdown and to raise money for environmental projects halted because of the Covid-19 crisis is being launched by the National Trust.
The conservation charity is also keen to encourage more care and respect for nature following a surge in littering, fly-camping and damage to nature and wildlife this summer.
As part of its six-week Everyone Needs Nature campaign, the Trust wants to raise awareness of how connection to nature can enrich lives. It is releasing adverts encouraging people to tune in to the sounds and sights of nature and will also encourage people to make donations to fund its nature conservation work.
Findings from a YouGov poll commissioned by the National Trust revealed that 38% of adults said spending time in nature was the moment they looked forward to most each day during lockdown, and a third suggested their interest in nature had increased since they were confined to their homes.
The National Trust expects to lose up to £200m this year as a result of the pandemic. Its nature conservation work has been hardest hit, with projects having to be paused or cancelled.
Projects it wants to fund include:
Restoring and creating new species-rich grasslands to conserve more than 50 threatened species, including the Glanville fritillary and Duke of Burgundy butterflies and flowers such as early gentian and ground-pine.
Maintaining and restoring internationally important waxcap grasslands.
Restoring river ecosystems so they function naturally, reducing flood risk, improving water quality and sequestering carbon.
Restoring upland peatland bogs and heaths rich in wildlife and carbon.
Celia Richardson, the Trust’s director of communications and insight, said: “The 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 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.
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 habitat by 2025.
“Alongside this we want to be able to continue our work on caring for rivers [and] 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.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Stay connected to nature after lockdown, National Trust urges | The National Trust