A NATURE reserve in Malvern is set to benefit from its share of £205,000 National Lottery funding to help combat the impact of Covid-19.
The grant has been awarded to the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and Blackhouse Wood will receive some of the cash.
When the pandemic and subsequent lockdown began, the charity moved its face-to-face work online and launched a Doorstep Wildlife campaign to engage people with the nature in their gardens and neighbourhoods.
Other work, however, was severely impacted with volunteers being unable to help out with management of nature reserves for much of the year at a time when they were in high demand as visitors sought access to green spaces.
Staff have also had to deal with anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and littering at a number of locations.
Helen Woodman, the WWT’s head of conservation, said “Thanks to the National Lottery and its players, we’re now better able to get our management work back on track and engage even more people.
“The funding will allow us to temporarily employ wardens to visit our reserves more often, engaging people with the wildlife delights that can be found there. We’ll also use it to help us to adapt our education programmes for schools to be Covid-safe.”
Some of the money will also be invested in technology to improve home-working capabilities and improve the trust’s online presence which has been appreciated by all the organisation’s social media followers and website visitors over the past few months.
Helen added: “We use many local contractors for our work so some of the funding will be going directly into the local economy.
“We’re grateful for all the support we’ve received from our members and supporters this year and also that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this critical time – it’s a lifeline to us and all our supporters who are passionate about helping nature to recover for the benefit of everyone.”
The funding was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund where £50million was made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.
The UK-wide fund aimed to address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.
A comprehensive package of support of up to £600million of repurposed money has been made available from The National Lottery.
Helen said: “Nature underpins society’s health and wellbeing and the benefits of this have been clearly seen during 2020 with more people than ever seeking solace in the natural world.
“With 41 per cent of insect species facing extinction and pressure on our natural environment like never before, we’re delighted that this crucial funding will help us to continue protecting our nature reserves, working with landowners and communities to advise on land management and reaching more individuals to help inspire them to help nature where they live.”
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from the current crisis.”
Thanks to National Lottery players, £30million is raised every week for good causes including heritage of local and national importance.
For more information visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk