Wild Connections wins Heritage Lottery Fund support
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is delighted to announce that they have received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for their Wild Connections project.
The project aims to:
• Improve accessibility and educational value of our reserves for visitors so that everyone can connect with and learn about our natural heritage.
• Demonstrating the vital role that natural heritage plays in maintaining a healthy, functional environment.
• Ensure our reserves are conserved for future generations by expanding and diversifying our volunteer programme, and giving people the skills they need to play an active role in protecting and managing their local heritage.
The initial HLF support includes development funding of £40,500 to help the Trust progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
Over three years, Wild Connections aims to
• Increase the variety of visitors and numbers of visits to WWT nature reserves by 30%.
• Deliver public events to demonstrate the relevance and importance of a healthy ecosystem.
• Improve access and relevance of WWT nature reserves for people with disabilities.
• Provide volunteering and training opportunities for disadvantaged groups such as disabled, young homeless, ex-military, elders and the rural isolated, ex-offenders and drug and alcohol services.
• Provide volunteer training sessions to maintain participation, increase knowledge and build qualifications and new skills.
• Provide conservation-based youth volunteering activities for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
• Create new ‘Friends of’ groups based at WWT nature reserves across the county.
Wild Connections will focus on 15 of the Trust’s key nature reserves that have been chosen for their proximity to communities, heritage value and capacity to support volunteering and training activities.
Sites rich in historical and natural heritage
The 15 project sites are rich in historical and natural heritage, including features such as ancient hunting sites, wildflower rich meadows, native woodland, chalk downland, medieval terraces and even a WWII airfield.
The Trust’s Development Officer, Caroline Robson, said “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. Wild Connections is an innovative and important project to increase and encourage access to our natural environment for everyone, including groups that historically may not engage with the countryside. This funding takes us one big step closer to achieving our aims.”
Pictured: Lower Moor Farm is a perfect place for families to explore nature