No.81  - Winter - 1999/2000

Standing up for wildlife. During the summer, the Trust and Friends of the Earth arranged a well-attended public meeting to air the issue of wildlife legislation and its current inadequacies. Pictured L to R are the panel: Matthew Taylor MP, Candy Atherton MP, Craig Bennett (FoE), Councillor Bert Biscoe (who chaired the meeting), Andrew George MP, Dorienne Robinson (Green Party) and The Wildlife Trusts' National Director of Conservation Derek Moore. Photo: Stuart Hutchings

Spreading the word

If not for environmental education and publicity, you probably wouldn't be reading this now: you wouldn't have joined the Cornwall Wildlife Trust if you hadn't heard of it, nor would you have become concerned for the future of wildlife if someone hadn't made you aware that problems existed.

By the same reasoning, this aspect of our work is an essential prerequisite to obtaining grants, sponsorships, donations, practical help, political support or any of the other assistance we need to meet our objectives. People have to know we exist and be convinced that our cause deserves their time, effort or money.

Although only three paid staff work specifically for this section, everyone in the Trust - both staff and volunteers - is involved in it, whether they realise it or not. If people are any the wiser as a result of contact with you, you have educated them!

In our wide-ranging role we reach out to all sections of adult society as well as to the young. Children, of course, are crucial to the Trust's long-term aims: what would it profit us to gain the whole of Cornwall for nature if we failed to instil a desire in the next generation to maintain it?

Number one for wildlife

One of our most important achievements to date lies in the fact that so many people recognise the name Cornwall Wildlife Trust and have an understanding of what we do. Our average of about one piece of TV coverage per week, as well as much more frequent reporting in the papers and on radio, is at least some measure of the high profile we now enjoy.

We can also point to our successes in producing worthwhile publications -including, hopefully, the one you are reading now - for members, teachers, children and others, in delivering educational services and - our key growth area in the last few years - in improving the educational and wildlife value of school grounds. The Trust's highly regarded web site is another feather in our cap and we must also recognise the enduring appeal of our unique Fox Club, which together with Wildlife Watch continues to inspire family audiences.

To summarise our current position, we are managing with very limited staff resources - but great volunteer support - to maintain a reputation as the first point of contact on wildlife issues for the media, schools, organisations and the public.

Setting sights higher

So where do we go from here? Jealously eyeing the large grants attracted by the reserves section, and the excellent programmes of work they have generated, we can't help but wonder what changes we could bring about with such sums of money at our disposal. With this in mind, we are currently developing fundable project ideas on that scale.

Our goal is to secure extra staff, equipment and other resources which will allow us to spend much more time out working within - and with - the community. In the meantime, we will make the most of what we have now and co-operate with other sections in any way we can. Encouragingly, the old distinction between "conservation work" and "educational work" is now a thing of the past here at the Trust - we are all conservationists and we are all involved in education.

Mark Nicholson


Contents - Wild Cornwall - No.81  - Winter - 1999/2000

Index Wild Cornwall Magazines

Cornwall Wildlife Trust home page

Five Acres, Allet, Truro, TR4 9DJ
Tel: (01872) 273939 or (01872) 240777
Fax: (01872) 225476
e-mail: cornwt@cix.compulink.co.uk