The big wildlife charities have a voice. They can grab public attention and highlight the drop in funding for wildlife and conservation during the Covid-19 crisis. Not only do they have a voice, many have substantial funds and reserves in the bank to see them through.
Larger wildlife charities have reserves to call on
The National Trust made prime-time news when they said that closure of their properties and gardens had cost them £280,000 and that they were going to have to cut back on nature conservation projects because of the drop in funds. It’s a big sum of money £280,000. But the National Trust has £1.3 billion invested in the stock markets. Their latest annual report highlights that they have £380,000 in the bank for contingencies and unexpected loss of revenue. This was before the Covid crisis so unless they had unexpected had to spend that money elsewhere they have the funds to continue as normal and without cutting projects. The Covid crisis and lockdown is exactly what that emergency reserves are for.
Obviously the National Trust stands out because of it’s wealth. But other major wildlife charities also have substantial investments and reserves. The RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and many others can see their way through this crisis without too much pain.
Wildlife rescuers hit by lock-down
But there is a section in the wildlife and conservation industry that has no reserves. Not only that but they are also suffering a cash-flow crisis. These are the independent, local wildlife rescuers. Often working from their home they normally have just personal income and savings to rely on. Many now are on reduced income. Either they have been furloughed from work or are working fewer hours.
Before the crisis many of these local wildlife enthusiasts would do school visits and visits to youth clubs such as scouts and guides. As a thank you many of these groups would make a contribution or do some fundraising for the wildlife ‘hospital’. Some of the rescuers I’m connected with also have stalls out on the High Street or in the market. Obviously these are not taking place at the moment.
The result is that there is a growing cash-flow and funding crisis with these small and independent rescuers. I can only strongly recommend that, if you can find your local wildlife ‘doctor’, you reach out to them and see what help you can give. It may be as simple and as easy as picking up a couple of cans of dog food on your weekly shop to help feed the hedgehogs or foxes.
Across the country in every city, town and village you’ll find someone caring for a creature. It may be an injured owl or blackbird, it may be a sick badge, it could even be a hungry otter. These people are not charities, they don’t have directors on 6 figure salaries, they don’t have teams of well paid fundraisers. They are simply normal people who love wildlife and want to make their own small contribution towards helping getting wildlife back into the wild.
Supporting local action can have national benefits
I am a great believer in acting locally to make national gains and benefits. I remember a few years ago writing about the fact that the area of gardens in the UK if put together would make gardens a national park the size of Exeter National Park. How much would it benefit our national wildlife if everyone with a garden was to set apart a small area for wildlife:
- leaving a small hole in the fence for hedgehogs to roam,
- turning over a small area of lawn to a wild flower patch,
- adding a garden pond.
These would impact wildlife on a local and national scale.
Find and support your local wildlife rescuer
Please try and find your local wildlife rescue centre. They are easy to find through local Facebook groups. If you can not find you local rescuers but still want to help donate towards injured and sick wildlife then please donate to my Wildlife Rescue UK fund. I use it to hep a number of wildlife rescuers I’ve connected with over the years.
Currently 10% of my advertising and affiliate profits of Wildlife News go into this fund to help meet essential costs. It’s been used to buy equipment, food, refurbish flooded centres etc. Because of the growing crisis in the wildlife rescue sector from June until the end of the year I’m going to double the contribution from 10% to 20%.
I ask that you join me in helping those who are on the front line of caring for sick and injured animals and wildlife.
UK Wildlife Rescue Support
Thank you for your help in the past. Just want to make my own small contribution back