WARWICKSHIRE Wildlife Trust has received National Lottery support to boost recovery from the impact of covid-19.
The wildlife body received nearly £50,000 to care for its nature reserves across Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull and to make adaptations to allow more people to enjoy its visitor centres.
Since the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began the trust has had to leave its nature reserves with little or no management for nearly four months. Visitor centres at Brandon Marsh, near Coventry and at Parkridge, Solihull were closed to visitors, with all events, volunteer activities and training courses cancelled.
During the same time last year, the charity had nearly 9,500 volunteer hours contributed – the equivalent of 1,350 days. The figure for this period in 2020, thanks to covid-19, is 0.
Trust spokeswoman Gina Rowe said: “Thanks to the National Lottery and its players we can now do work on our nature reserves to bring them back to good condition, including overdue hay meadow cuts and scrub control, and to install support measures to welcome back visitors and to enable social distancing.
“We plan to install a large awning over part of our courtyard to give cover for visitors and for training sessions. The funds will support us to plan ahead for all the changes that are needed to our work, due to covid 19, and to film tours around our nature reserves to use online, especially for those who cannot visit us as yet. We’re very grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it’s a real lifeline to us and for Warwickshire’s natural heritage, and is for everyone’s benefit. The funding will help to ensure that our trust can adapt to the situation and develop new ways to sustain itself into the future.”
The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through the lottery’s Heritage Emergency Fund. In total across the heritage sector, £50million was made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need. The UK-wide fund aimed to address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.