25 years of support

Blog post by Ellen Kinsley  on 09 Nov, 2019

The Wildlife Trusts' Partnerships Manager Ellen Kinsley looks at some of the highlights from 25 years of support from The National Lottery.

 

This November, The National Lottery celebrates its 25th birthday! To mark this special anniversary, we’re reflecting on some of the amazing things that have been achieved for wildlife, wild places and people across the UK, thanks to the support of The National Lottery.

Barn owl chicks, © Ulster Wildlife

Coigach & Assynt Living Landscapes Partnership, © Chris Puddephat



Since the first draw in 1994, The National Lottery has raised over £40 billion for good causes, including more than 840 fantastic Wildlife Trust projects. This funding has been crucial for projects on land, at sea and within communities all over the UK. Looking at all of these projects together, the positive difference they’ve made for wildlife is huge!
 

On land 

From farmland to forests, scrubland to city centres, Wildlife Trusts are working to ensure every space in the UK is used to help nature. This is the basis of our vision for a Nature Recovery Network, where wild places are connected and wildlife can move freely. This needs us to think big, looking at the health of an entire landscape as well as the individual, precious habitats within it. National Lottery funding has helped many Wildlife Trust projects do just this.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust was able to purchase Pope’s Marsh in 2013, connecting the nature reserves at Cley and Salthouse Marshes to create an 8km stretch of coastline for wildlife! And one of the largest landscape-scale restoration projects in Europe is underway in the north west Highlands. The Scottish Wildlife Trust-led Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership is bringing a range of environmental and economic benefits through a suite of 28 projects - including expanding and connecting native woodlands, surveying fish in freshwater lochans, and educating schoolchildren about the area’s iconic natural environment.

Barn owl chicks, © Ulster Wildlife

Barn owl chicks, © Ulster Wildlife

Over the last 25 years, The National Lottery has also funded many projects focusing on specific species, helping us turn things around for some of our most threatened wildlife. This includes Ulster Wildlife, who worked with 1,300 landowners to save Northern Ireland’s barn owls and put up 71 nest boxes to provide safe places for these owls to rear their young. As a result of the project, grassland habitat the size of 40 football pitches was made available for these brilliant birds.




At sea 

Around half the UK’s wildlife lives in the sea, from microscopic plankton to mighty whales. Support from The National Lottery has helped us raise awareness of our wonderful marine life, enthusing thousands of people to join us in calling for better protection for our seas.

In 2012, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Sussex Wildlife Trust embarked on a joint project called Making Waves, which helped thousands of children learn about marine wildlife and the need to protect it.

Today, National Lottery support is helping Living Seas Wales make a big splash! Over the last year, Living Seas Live! roadshows have brought thousands of people closer to wonderful Welsh wildlife through activities, talks and virtual reality technology.   

As we celebrate our landmark 25th birthday, we are enormously proud to have funded hundreds of projects led by Wildlife Trusts across the UK. Through our conversations with National Lottery players, we know that natural heritage is incredibly important to them, and our partnerships with Wildlife Trusts ensure that it will be preserved for future generations, to discover and enjoy for years to come.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Within our communities  

People are part of nature; everything we value ultimately comes from it and everything we do has an impact on it. To secure a Wilder Future, it’s essential that communities are connected to their local environment and take action to protect it.

National Lottery funding has helped Wildlife Trusts support people to improve their wellbeing through getting closer to nature. Back in 2005, funding enabled Tees Valley Wildlife Trust to offer a programme of volunteering in nature for people with mental health problems. And now, Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s ecotherapy project, Myplace is helping people connect with nature to learn new skills and improve their physical health and mental wellbeing.

Since 2016, Our Bright Future has empowered thousands of young people to take action for their environment. All across the UK, young people aged 11-24 are leading change in their communities – creating new green spaces, bringing people together and improving their local environment. Through taking part, young people gain skills, confidence and practical experience – and boost their wellbeing at the same time.

Over the last quarter of a century, support from The National Lottery has made a huge, lasting difference for people and wildlife all over the UK. 

We have a lot still to do to make sure nature recovers – find out how you can help secure a Wilder Future for us all, here.

Header image: Cley Marshes, by Richard Osbourne

Share this

Latest Blog Posts

World Book Day 2021 World Book Day 2021
by Chloe Webb on 04 Mar, 2021
Identifying diving ducks Identifying diving ducks
by The Wildlife Trusts on 11 Jan, 2021
Remembering Richard Waddingham – farmer and pond conservationist Remembering Richard Wadding...
by Helen Baczkowska on 17 Dec, 2020
Wild verges Wild verges
by Sam Brown on 08 Dec, 2020
Thwaite Common bird box project Thwaite Common bird box pro...
by John Snape on 30 Nov, 2020
Jewels of the autumn Jewels of the autumn
by Ian Senior on 20 Nov, 2020
Walking again at Thorpe Marshes Walking again at Thorpe Mar...
by Chris Durdin on 06 Nov, 2020
Living with spiders Living with spiders
by Norfolk Wildlife Trust on 24 Oct, 2020
In praise of the humble briar In praise of the humble briar
by Robert Morgan on 30 Sep, 2020
Rockpooling at West Runton Rockpooling at West Runton
by Isabelle Mudge on 28 Sep, 2020
The secret world of fungi The secret world of fungi
by Norfolk Wildlife Trust on 18 Sep, 2020
White herons: A pleasure to see – a warning to heed White herons: A pleasure to...
by Robert Morgan on 17 Sep, 2020
Norwich Nature Notes – August Norwich Nature Notes – August
by Roger and Jenny Jones on 14 Sep, 2020
Help for hogs Help for hogs
by Helen Baczkowska on 31 Aug, 2020
The magic of Thompson Common The magic of Thompson Common
by Barry Madden on 29 Aug, 2020
The Great British Snake Off The Great British Snake Off
by Tom Hibbert on 24 Aug, 2020
Grazing goats Grazing goats
by Robert Morgan on 17 Aug, 2020
Norwich Nature Notes – July Norwich Nature Notes – July
by Roger and Jenny Jones on 04 Aug, 2020
Summer in the meadows Summer in the meadows
by Helen Baczkowska on 28 Jul, 2020
Search for the emperor Search for the emperor
by Barry Madden on 07 Jul, 2020
Corncrake at Thorpe Marshes Corncrake at Thorpe Marshes
by Chris Durdin on 29 Jun, 2020
Norwich Nature Notes – June Norwich Nature Notes – June
by Roger and Jenny Jones and Jon Shutes on 23 Jun, 2020
Blyth's reed warbler Blyth's reed warbler
by NWT on 12 Jun, 2020
Norwich Nature Notes – May Norwich Nature Notes – May
by Roger and Jenny Jones on 21 May, 2020