Scheme means double donations for crucial Wiltshire Wildlife Trust appeal

By Barrie Hudson - 21 November 2023

  • Field Scabious

    Field Scabious

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge to raise £6,200 in just one week.

  • Violet Oil Beetle

    Violet Oil Beetle

These funds will be doubled and will go towards the trust’s‘Saving Critical Critters’ project.

Te charity says oil beetles and wild bees urgently need help. Three of the UK’s native oil beetles are already thought to be extinct and the remaining five species are declining. 

The intricate connection between oil beetles and solitary bees means that oil beetles rely on a healthy population of solitary bees and a wildflower-rich grassland habitat to survive.


Both species are vital pollinators that support soil health and the wider ecosystem. However, oil beetles are highly sensitive to changes in land management, so their presence indicates a highly biodiverse ecosystem through successful habitat management and restoration. 

Joanna Lewis, CEO of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Wiltshire Wildlife Trust believes in a Wilder Wiltshire, where insects such as the oil beetle and solitary bee can survive and thrive. 

"This year, we’ve joined the Big Give Christmas Challenge and we’re looking to raise £6,200 in just one week through online donations, which will be doubled by Big Give match funding. 


"We hope everyone will give generously to help us reach our target and enable us to boost wildflowers across 83 acres of chalk downland habitat as a lifeline for rare bees and oil beetles.”

In recent years, a lack of biodiverse habitat is threatening both the wild bees’ and the oil beetles’ survival. The violet, black and rugged oil beetles have now been classified as threatened species that are critically important in Wiltshire as part of Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre’s ‘Wiltshire’s Critical Species’ project.

Through this ‘Saving Critical Critters’ project, the trust will enhance 83 acres of chalk downland in Wiltshire to create the ideal habitat mix through a combination of conservation grazing and seasonal cutting, which will allow more wildflowers to flourish.

Wildflowers such as field scabious will be planted to attract solitary bees such as the large scabious mining bee, which will increase oil beetles’ chance of successful breeding. 

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is asking people to help take action for insects by donating to their online campaign next week via the Big Give Christmas Challenge. 

Donations will be matched by The Big Give’s supporters and the Trust’s Champion Funders during the seven-day campaign, meaning donors can double their impact for our critical critters!

People who want to be involved can:

- Visit between noon on 28 November and noon on 5 December and make a donation to Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

- Set a reminder and add the Trust’s campaign page to it, so they remember not to miss their chance to double their donation.

- Follow Wiltshir [Anchor] e Wildlife Trust on social media for campaign updates.  


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