Give us the money!

In the last couple of weeks it’s been confirmed that the British Government is to give a £2m “boost” to nature conservation. Come on then hand the money over!

Ivy Bee on Ivy Flowers

Ivy Bee on Ivy Flower – Taken in October 08

Firstly Defra is giving more than £1m to a new fund to improve local recording of wildlife and allow better access to information across the country.

Apparently the number of local wildlife records collected has already increased enormously from 8 million in 2004 to over 30 million in 2008, and with this Fund money it is hoped that it will grow even more.

Plus they have also pledged £750,000 to help increase conservation volunteering and help more people (that means us…I guess) get involved in local projects.

common-earthball-1

Common Earthball Fungi – Taken in September 08

I can’t help thinking that both these initiatives are great news for conservation as long as the money is

A/ used wisely, and
B/ really goes where it is most needed

I’m involved in volunteering and recording so they are subjects close to my heart. I know that Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Volunteering Programme Manager, Steve Davis, is worried how he is going to cope! He already has over 1000 volunteers on the books (OK, they aren’t ALL doing stuff ALL the time..) but that’s a lot of people and likely to grow after the launch of this initiative. That’s going to take some organising!

Bald Eagle

OK I didn’t take this in the UK… just wanted to show you one of my
Bald Eagle photos from the Florida Keys – taken only last week

On the recording front I personally hope that some of this money funnels down to the grass roots. I run a very small (voluntary) recording project in my village called Nature Watch Corfe Mullen, but if I’m going to continue past April 2009 I’ll need some more cash. Not loads… but recording equipment, reference books and recording software don’t come cheap.

In a time when everything is being “cut” at least conservation in the UK is still getting some money – I guess we should at least be grateful for that!

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8 thoughts on “Give us the money!

  1. Indeed we should. Hopefully this Thames valley money will be well used too. Now we just need to get this marine bill pushed through and the future of britains wildlife will look strangely bright!

  2. Hi Jane,

    Yes, you could say that I’m looking forward to seeing what happens! I really do hope that the money gets down to where it’s needed most – local community based conservation groups like NatureWatch Corfe Mullen. That will be far more effective than some glossy, hi-tech advertising campaign with nothing left to back it up. Fingers crossed – and will let you know as soon as I get to hear anything.

  3. So do I. So often it’s just misspent and wasted – gallingly many, many, many thousands of pounds, of which just a trickle would have made all the difference to where it’s really needed. Fingers crossed.

  4. Hi Steve and thanks. Yes, hopefully my project will get some more funding from “somewhere”. I’m with you on the glossy advertising campaigns (even though I’m a marketer!). Jane

  5. Pete. Thanks. I really fell for these Ivy Bees this year – can’t wait to see if they have spread around our village next autumn. I agree… the wildlife trusts are doing a great job. Jane

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