Urgent action to save Wales’ most vulnerable wildlife is set to get underway this summer, thanks to the players of the National Lottery.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded the Natur am Byth partnership over £4.1m after two years of detailed planning.
67 species facing the greatest threat of extinction in Wales have been identified for action including the Shrill Carder Bumblebee, Pink Sea Fan, Spotted Rock Rose, Snowdon Rainbow Beetle, Chough and Lesser Horseshoe Bat.
Not only will this be one of the most ambitious conservation programmes ever undertaken in Wales, but it will provide the opportunity for more people to reconnect with nature in their neighbourhood. Natur and Byth will offer engagement and volunteering activities; whilst celebrating the value that Welsh culture and language place on the natural world.
The four-year programme will support eleven project areas across Wales. Each will tackle the root causes of species decline, working with hundreds of landowners and community volunteers to deliver positive change for nature recovery and for people.
Natur am Byth is co-ordinated by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in partnership with Amphibian & Reptile Conservation; Bat Conservation Trust; Buglife; Bumblebee Conservation Trust; Butterfly Conservation; Plantlife; Marine Conservation Society; RSPB Cymru; and Vincent Wildlife Trust.
Andrew White, Wales Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “Protecting the environment is a priority for us and we support projects that help us meet our nature recovery targets and mitigate the impacts of climate change on Wales’ unique natural heritage. Natur am Byth is an ambitious, exciting, and important project which will help habitats, species and people thrive together.“
NRW has contributed £1.7m and Welsh Government has also committed £800,000. The Natur am Byth partners have secured further funding from Arts Council of Wales through the Creative Nature Partnership plus a number of charitable trusts, foundations and corporate donors. These include donations from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Banister Charitable Trust, and significant support from Welsh Government’s Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme administered by Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).
Clare Pillman, CEO of NRW said: “Never before has a partnership of so many voluntary organisations and NRW worked together in this way to tackle the nature emergency. The partnership will bring together expert scientific knowledge, local networks and unparalleled experience in engaging local communities and key stakeholders in plans to protect nature. In addition to the twenty jobs created by the programme, there will also be lots of opportunities for people to volunteer, learn new skills and attend a wide range of cultural and community events.”
We welcome everyone to join the Natur am Byth journey – as an employee, a volunteer or supporter. You can sign up to the Programme Newsletter to find out more about the projects and the opportunities on offer.
Main Image: Shrill Carder Bee (Bombus sylvarum) © Liam Olds