Together, The Wildlife Trusts are the UK's largest people-powered environmental organisation working for nature's recovery on land and at sea, looking after a total of 2,300 reserves across the UK.
Thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery, the funding The Wildlife Trusts has been able to fund many projects across England, Scotland and Wales. From protecting ospreys at Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve in Perthshire to the Red Squirrel project in Northumberland, the funding has done some great conservation work with nature reserves. Another goal of The Wildlife Trusts is to connect children with nature.
Children are happier, healthier and more creative when they're connected to the natural world, and across England and parts of Wales the funding has also gone towards Forest School and Nature Tots sessions - letting inner-city children release their wild side!
Fewer than 10% of children play in natural areas. The Wildlife Trusts want to change this trend, and in 2016 alone 500 Forest School sessions were delivered across England with thousands of children in attendance in cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and London.
Thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery, the Wildlife Trusts have been awarded £3.2 Million to date. Wanting to build on the work already underway, the Trusts will use this funding to work with more children from extra cities across England and to work directly with teachers to provide training in leading outdoor sessions.
Nick Baker, TV Presenter and The Wildlife Trusts Vice-President, said, "The time needs to be given up for young people to make their own connections with nature and these experiences need to be positive and fun. Studies have shown that children who have positive, happy and fun times in nature will appreciate it in later life. This is the whole idea behind Forest Schools, it's a form of group empowerment, a gentle nudge out of the door and into the great outdoors.
"Don't hold back, time in nature is never wasted time - it'll start to pay back dividends the moment you step out and start to re-wild the child; both the one holding your hand and the one pent up inside yourself."