Sir George pledged to ‘value our natural heritage’ this week after meeting local nature conservation organisation the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) at the House of Commons. The event was held to highlight the value of funding nature and its recovery. It showcased a number of Wildlife Trust projects funded by HLF around the UK.
Sir George met the Hants and IOW Wildlife Trust Chief Executive Debbie Tann, who told him about the work going on at Winnall Moors near Winchester, where the water meadows were shaped in the 17th and 18th centuries and which also have close medieval ties to the city. The meadows help protect the city from flooding.
“It was great to hear how HLF funded Wildlife Trust projects have brought benefits to local wildlife and people. This shows what can be done if a body invests in and values the natural environment. I look forward to the county's Wildlife Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund continuing to work together to protect and restore nature and to help people engage with the natural world.”
Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “We warmly welcome the support that HLF has given to The Wildlife Trusts over 16 years. And we welcome the support shown by parliamentarians. With an uncertain economic future, we look forward to funding streams that protect and restore nature continuing.
“We are at a pivotal moment for nature which is vital to our lives and well-being. The Government has committed to producing a Natural Environment White Paper in May. We hope this will provide the right policy framework so that nature can thrive and recover. We urge parliamentarians to ensure the Government delivers an ambitious and visionary Natural Environment White Paper in May.”
Carole Souter CBE, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “Over the past 16 years the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded around £100million towards Wildlife Trust projects. This forms part of our wider commitment of £390million to more than 3,000 projects which support nature conservation across the UK. Our funding has made it possible to help people learn about, conserve and protect our incredible natural heritage.
“We are now consulting on the future of Lottery funding for heritage, asking people to tell us what they think our priorities should be, what we should continue to do, and what we should do differently. Over the next few years the amount of money we will have available for heritage will increase to around £300million and we want to know how people think we should use it.”
Visit www.hlf.org.uk/consultation2011 by 26 April to register your views.
Notes to Editors
• The event was held on 30 March 2011 at Portcullis House, Westminster.
• The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) wildlifetrusts.org There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK and the Isle of Man and Alderney. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 800,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.
• The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) www.hlf.org.uk Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects allocating £4.5billion across the UK. Please visit www.hlf.org.uk/consultation2011 by 26 April to let us know your views. Consultation is to inform HLF’s strategy for 2013–2019.