Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust this year launched their most ambitious appeal yet. ‘Save Our Special Places’ calls for the county’s residents to help save local wild places in very real danger of destruction.
The charity, which places caring for Gloucestershire’s wildlife at the heart of everything it does, began the new fundraising campaign in the summer to urge people to donate what they can so that vital conservation work can continue.
Struck by the threat of losing much-loved green spaces, and keen to play their part for the wildlife of the county, Grundon Waste Management have just donated £6,000 to the appeal’s cause.
Anthony Foxlee-Brown, Head of Marketing and Communications at Grundon, said: “This is such an important campaign that we wanted to give it substantial support. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is the only county-wide organisation with the ability, perspective, knowledge and experience to fight for the county’s special places, without which this region would be much the poorer.”
Threats faced on a daily basis by Gloucestershire’s picturesque countryside includes intensive agriculture, aggressive urbanisation, climate change and pollution. Wide open grassy spaces and leafy green woodlands, home to childhood memories of kite flying, tree-climbing and long family walks, are being ruined. Treasured creatures that call the county home, such as hedgehogs, barn owls and bumblebees, are struggling to survive and could be lost forever.
The UK is now one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Over the past 70 years, 56% of plants, animals, insects and fungi have declined, and 1 in 10 species are threatened by extinction.
“The way we live our lives is sending shock waves through the natural world around us. We already know how fragile the environment can be. Now we’re seeing the true reality of it. Will your childhood wood be here in twenty years’ time? In ten? At the moment, I couldn’t guarantee it” comments Roger Mortlock, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
However, the Trust are fighting back, and hope to encourage the people of Gloucestershire to join them in protecting the county’s wild places.
Every day staff and volunteers carry out painstaking work to protect wildlife for the future, not just across the land the Trust cares for, but by working in partnership with landowners and within urban areas. Whether it’s building hedgehog routes in local towns or removing invasive plant species which threaten to spread and smother native plants, it all encourages wildlife to thrive.
There’s still time to make a difference; the appeal will be running until the end of December. Donations could help to save the county’s wild places from the brink of disaster. Even the smallest donation could help to fund gloves and tools for teams of conservation volunteers, activities to help local children re-connect with the outside world and learn how they can help to care for the environment, as well as bird boxes to provide a home for declining species like barn owls. To find out more about the appeal and to donate, visit www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/saveourspecialplaces