WILDLIFE in the region has been put under increased pressure by the lockdown.
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust says restoring nature across Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull has become harder than ever during the pandemic.
The trust says the UK is already one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, and the lockdown is posing further challenges to its work locally.
And at the same time, people are relying on nature to help look after their physical and mental health during lockdown and reconnecting with nature on a scale not seen for decades.
Many trust staff have been furloughed and those remaining in post are focused on ensuring the charity survives through the crisis.
It means vital work has had to be put on hold with all nature reserve management paused, education and events cancelled, volunteering ceased until further notice, and all partnership projects stopped.
And both trust visitor centres and cafes at Brandon Marsh and Parkridge have temporarily closed following government advice.
The trust also previously commented on planning applications and the impact of HS2 across the county, but its ability to respond has been curbed due to the impact of Covid-19.
Ian Jelley, director of Living Landscapes at the trust, said: “The current pandemic has really highlighted the important role that nature plays in people’s daily lives. We’ve been inundated with people sharing examples of how they’ve re-discovered nature on their doorstep, whether it be out of their window, in their garden or their local green space, which is fantastic.
“What is clear is that during this challenging time nature is providing that vital role of supporting people’s mental and physical wellbeing. One positive in all of this is the increase in awareness of the amazing nature on our doorstep. We hope that as we come through this pandemic together, people will have a renewed connection with wildlife that they can take forward in their daily lives.
“You’re never more than six miles away from a Warwickshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve if you live in our patch and we’re delighted that so many people have been able to access their local reserve on foot as part of their daily exercise.
“Last year we supported 23,000 people to engage with nature through our events and education programme. We’re hopeful that our new approach – inspiring people to engage with nature via our social media channels and website – will enable more people to maintain that connection through these difficult times.
“We know how difficult it is for families stuck at home during the lockdown and we’re providing loads of creative ways to entertain your family through engaging with nature. These ideas can give you inspiration at home and as part of your daily exercise.”
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