As the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began, the county’s largest nature conservation organisation moved its face-to-face work online and launched a Doorstep Wildlife campaign to engage people with wildlife 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 and the nature reserves being 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, 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 with nature.
“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.
“We’ll also be investing in technology. This will provide both software and hardware to improve our home-working capabilities and to help with our online presence that has been so appreciated by our many social media followers and website visitors over the last few months.
“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.”