National Trust launches huge fundraising campaign after finances hit by lockdown

The National Trust is appealing to the public’s reliance on the natural environment during the coronavirus pandemic to generate much-needed funds.

The new Everyone Needs Nature campaign will focus on the link between the living world and wellbeing in an effort to stimulate donations.

The six-week campaign follows an announcement last month by the charity’s director-general, Hilary McGrady, in which she said a possible £200 million loss this year would be “devastating”, adding that the charity’s income “will fall significantly short of our costs for months to come”.

Coronavirus – Mon Jul 13, 2020
Staff at the National Trust’s Petworth House, West Sussex, have begun welcoming visitors back to the grounds (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The Trust was also forced to shelve plans to commemorate its 125-year anniversary this year – and associated fundraising campaign – by planting 20 million trees, due to lockdown restrictions.

Celia Richardson, National Trust director of communications and insight, said: “The Everyone Needs Nature campaign is designed to capture a moment in people’s lives when they are more aware than ever of the importance of close connection with nature.

“We want people to continue the everyday connections with nature they’ve made during lockdown, and remind them that nature and wildlife urgently need protection.

“We know from our research that spending time noticing the nature around them has been a real feature of life for people during lockdown.

“It’s important that these habits are maintained in the future – they’re vital to people’s wellbeing.

“We can’t ignore the crisis in nature that we were faced with long before the pandemic – more than a quarter of Britain’s native mammals, including the beaver, red squirrel, water vole and hedgehog, are still endangered and at risk of extinction. Creatures like these are vital to the survival of nature’s fragile ecosystems.”

Donations will be used for a variety of nature conservation work programmes.

In June, a YouGov survey commissioned by the National Trust suggested 68% of people feel that noticing nature around them makes them happy, while 61% said spending time in the natural world or watching from their window helped their mood during lockdown.

– For more information about the campaign and to make a donation visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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