The support received from players of People's Postcode Lottery helps Yorkshire Wildlife Trust with its huge task of stopping the decline of Yorkshire's wildlife. The Trust looks after over 100 special places for wildlife in Yorkshire, with a land area of more than 7,000 acres – the equivalent of 3,500 football pitches!

The funding the Trust has received from players since 2007 has totalled just over £840,000. This has helped Yorkshire Wildlife Trust keep its nature reserves in tip-top condition for wildlife, benefitting a wide range of species from rare orchids to puffins, from great crested newts to marbled white butterflies.

The State of Nature report, published in autumn 2016, showed that Britain's wildlife has declined by over 50% since the 1970s, with one in ten species at risk of extinction. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust works with a wide range of people from across the county who volunteer their time to help look after wildlife.

Dave Leadley volunteers for the Trust as a pony checker. "I love visiting Askham Bog nature reserve on the outskirts of York, and have done for many years. I enjoy helping out by keeping an eye on the Exmoor ponies that help the Trust look after this lovely place. I make sure they haven't run off, or become ill or injured."

"The ponies graze some of the plants that would otherwise swamp the more delicate flowers that my wife and I enjoy seeing in the summertime."

Funding from players helps with much of the work to look after the Trust's volunteers, like Dave, and also covers the costs of many of the essential tasks that need to be carried out.

Brian Lavelle, Reserves Manager for the Trust, said, "Nature reserves need continual management to make sure they are good for wildlife and people.

"For bigger jobs we need to pay specialist contractors to come in. Recently at Askham Bog for instance, we had to repair lots of the old fencing, to make sure our ponies stay safe. Also, we have had a team in with a digger to clear out some of the ditches that had filled up with mud and twigs.

"I am very grateful for the funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery which allows this to happen."

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Some Yorkshire ponies - photo credit Chris Lonsdale