The Peter De Haan Charitable Trust has a long history of awarding grants to the environmental sector. In 2015, we announced a new Environmental Grants Scheme allocating a further £1 million to grant aid environmental programmes, of which £750,000 has been allocated to the following six projects.
Irish Sea Marine Advocacy Programme • Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Hidden beneath the surface of the Irish Sea are landscapes every bit as varied as those we see on land, with undersea cliffs, caves, valleys and mountains which are home to thousands of plants and animals from tiny anemones to the majestic basking shark. For centuries our sea’s riches have been taken for granted. Fragile habitats have been destroyed. Pollution, unsustainable fishing and the effects of climate change have had major detrimental impacts on our marine environment. The Irish Sea Marine Advocacy Programme aims to restore the Irish Sea to a clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse sea through securing the designation and management of Marine Protected Areas within our Irish Sea.
“For too long our Irish Sea has been taken for granted. The creation of a network of Marine Protected Areas offer us a once in a lifetime chance to designate special areas where the rare species and habitats of the Irish Sea are protected. A place where damaging activities can be restricted and wildlife is allowed to recover and flourish. The grant from Peter De Haan Charitable Trust in support of our Irish Sea Marine Advocacy Programme is vital in enabling us to raise awareness of the importance of our Irish Sea and to try and ensure that our marine wildlife gets the long overdue protection it deserves.”
— Peter Bullard, Director, Cumbria Wildlife Trust
River Otter Beaver Trial • Devon Wildlife Trust
For the first time since they were hunted to extinction in the 1700s, England has a wild beaver population in Devon on the River Otter! This is a landmark event for nature conservation in England. Over the next four years, Devon Wildlife Trust’s role is to monitor the effects of beaver activity on the river, on the wider landscape and its wildlife. This project will also involve the local community: how well can beavers and people co-exist in the long term.
“This is an historic moment. The beavers of the River Otter are the first breeding population in the English countryside since the 1700s. This project will measure the impact that these beavers have on the local environment, on the local economy and on local people. The evidence from elsewhere shows that beavers should have an overwhelmingly positive effect, but this is the first time the animals will be living in a well-populated, agriculturally productive English landscape for hundreds of years.”
— Peter Burgess, Director of Development, Policy and Research, Devon Wildlife Trust
National Peatland Framework Project • International Union for Conservation of Nature UK Peatland Programme
The National Peatland Framework project is a two year programme of advocacy and knowledge exchange with the aim of establishing and funding a permanent structure to support the network of peatland projects and oversee the conservation and management of our peatlands into the future. The project will include administration of the Peatland Code, a national conference, a review of the Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands and international networking through IUCN.
“We are entering a new era where the vital role of peatlands to society is being recognised. The case is clear that action now to restore and manage our peatlands will avoid huge costs in future and bring benefits for biodiversity, water management and climate change. Building a lasting framework and partnership to secure the right management of our peatlands is one of the most important environmental investments this generation can make.”
— Clifton Bain, Director IUCN UK Peatland Programme
The Great Manchester Wetlands Partnership • Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Volunteers will be at the forefront of the Great Manchester Wetlands Partnership’s drive for a bigger, better and more joined-up Nature Improvement Area, funded by Peter De Haan’s Charitable Trust. Led by Lancashire Wildlife Trust through the proposed Carbon Landscape Partnership Scheme, we will be increasing volunteer action, helping local people to raise awareness of the importance of our landscape within the wider community, celebrating its heritage and developing a sense of pride and place. With a wide range of partners involved, we need effective coordination of volunteers to support skills development and training as well as a rewards and recognition package that ensures our volunteers are valued for their fantastic efforts.
“This is a really exciting opportunity for Lancashire Wildlife Trust and partners of the Great Manchester Wetlands Nature Improvement Area. Funding from Peter De Haan Charitable Trust will enable our first partnership programme to happen with essential match funds for our Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnership Scheme. We recognise the invaluable role that volunteers play within our landscape. Not only will we make our Nature Improvement Area bigger, better and more joined-up, but we will ensure our volunteer task force is bigger, better and more joined-up, enabling local people to be at the heart of a landscape that has become an unrivalled sanctuary for both wildlife and public enjoyment.”
— Daveen Wallis, Head of People and Wildlife, Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Somerset’s Nature Matters Programme • Somerset Wildlife Trust
Somerset’s coastal and wetland environments are under increasing pressure from major development; predicted climate change; and a lack of political will concerning the environment. This is exacerbated by a lack of understanding about the vital role played by nature in national and local economies and on peoples’ health and wellbeing. The Somerset’s Nature Matters project aims to communicate the importance of nature – the products and services it provides – via a series of campaigns that will influence the way people think about nature.
“Somerset Wildlife Trust is delighted to have been chosen by the Peter De Haan Charitable Trust as one of the environmental award winners. Somerset was acutely affected by the disastrous floods of 2013/14. Heavy rainfall, rapid run off, drainage and floodplain issues combined to create floods lasting many months, isolating local communities and damaging homes and endangering wildlife.
Helping people understand the importance of working with nature to make Somerset’s low-lying coastal and freshwater habitats more resilient in the face of climate change and rising sea levels has never been more relevant. This grant will enable Somerset Wildlife Trust to develop our advocacy and help more people understand that Somerset’s nature does matter. We will be able to champion the role of Somerset’s stunning and important natural environment to our economy, our health and wellbeing.”
— Michele Bowe, Director of Conservation, Somerset Wildlife Trust
Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders • Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders project aims to develop and empower young people giving them the confidence, skills and experience to drive real environmental change and inspire and mentor others to do the same. Young people will receive training and support to enable them to develop and lead projects important to them that improve the local built or rural environment for people and wildlife. Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders will create 96 Environmental Youth Leaders and train and engage a further 480 people to help them to care for and improve their local environment. The project is also one of 31 supported by BIG Lottery’s Our Bright Future programme, enabling young people to make a difference and ensuring they have a voice in current issues affecting our environment.
“There is a worrying disconnection between the younger generation and nature. This project will not only address this societal issue but will encourage participants to be proud of their local area and work to improve it both for wildlife and the people who live there.”
— Cassa Townsend, Volunteering Development Manager, YWT
Photo credits Headline image: Lorne Gill Scottish Natural Heritage • Cumbria WT: Paul Kay; Cumbria WT; Paul Naylor • Devon WT: Nick Upton; Ben Lee; Nick Upton • IUCN: Ben Hall / 2020 vision; Lorne Gill Scottish Natural Heritage; Ceri Katz • Lancashire WT: all Lancashire WT • Somerset WT: Guy Edwardes / 2020 vision; Malcolm Brown; Brian Phipps • Yorkshire WT: YWT; Toby Needs; Lucie Bernardova.