60th Anniversary Appeal
Nature is in trouble. A quarter of UK mammals and nearly half of bird species are in danger of disappearing. Hedgehogs, red squirrels, bats, turtle doves, cuckoos and water voles are all at risk. Insect populations have suffered even more drastic declines. Nature’s demise will have far-reaching consequences for both wildlife and people if we don’t act now.
In Hampshire and Isle of Wight just 12% of our landscape is protected for nature – but fewer than half of these sites are in good condition for wildlife and they are not all safe from development. Extensive losses of wild places over many years and ongoing fragmentation of those that remain have had a disastrous impact.
But there is still hope. You can help turn this around and tip the balance in favour of nature’s recovery by supporting our 60th Anniversary Appeal today.
Making up just 2% of our counties, Wildlife Trust nature reserves are now some of the best places where wildlife remains and thrives. Over the past 60 years, our reserves have provided a vital refuge for our rarest and most vulnerable species and habitats. They have supported many conservation successes, including the return of breeding populations of avocet at Farlington Marshes and the reintroduction of marsh fritillary butterflies in north Hampshire. We are fortunate that our founding members had the foresight to protect these special places. Without our reserves, nature would be in a far worse state.
By making a gift to celebrate our nature reserves you are supporting local wildlife through the vital conservation of over 4,600 hectares of habitat across our two counties.
Donate £10£10 could help maintain vital woodland habitat for dormice.
Donate £50£50 could help create a wildflower meadow for rare butterflies.
Donate £200£200 could help manage a nature reserve for a day.
These last remaining places for wildlife are now critical to help nature recover across the wider landscape.
For many years, we have defended these wild spaces from an increasingly hostile surrounding environment. Covid-19 has presented new challenges with delays to essential conservation work, staff shortages and lost income. Lockdowns have driven a dramatic increase in visitors to our sites, some of which have suffered significant damage and disturbance. We urgently need to make up for this lost time and repair the damage. Our nature reserves are irreplaceable.
We will continue to nurture our nature reserves, as we have over the past six decades, ensuring they provide vital safe havens for our threatened species. We will buy more land to expand and connect our reserves, aiming to double our estate in a decade. We will work with others to bring wildlife back to towns, cities and the wider countryside and campaign for better protection for local nature. Together we can create a Nature Recovery Network made up of thousands of wild spaces that connect to help wildlife thrive across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Our 64 nature reserves are at the heart of these ambitious plans. Without them, our remaining wildlife won’t be able to spread into new areas to create thriving populations. We need to make sure these special places are in the best possible condition so they can continue to provide sanctuary for the most critically endangered species, help restore ecosystems and bring wildlife back to the wider landscape.
Donate now and help ensure that these special places survive and thrive for the next 60 years.
Everyone who supports this appeal will be given the opportunity to celebrate their favourite reserve by placing a pin and personal message on our 60th Anniversary map.
Plus, if you donate £150 or more, you will be invited to a celebratory event in Spring 2022 as a thank you for your support.