Thank you lottery players!
Thanks to players of the National Lottery, Gwent Wildlife Trust has been awarded £50,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Funds Covid-19 Emergency Grants fund.
This welcome funding is supporting us to adapt to many of the changes and challenges that the pandemic is bringing in keeping our staff, volunteers and members of the public safe and continuing our vital work for wildlife.
We are now able to purchase additional personal protective equipment and tools to enable volunteers to safely return to work parties and monitoring activities as and when lockdown restrictions permit. The funds are also helping us adapt some of the things we would traditionally do face-to-face to digital and online, so that we can continue to inspire interest in wildlife whilst everyone is staying at home. The fund is also paying for new IT equipment to support staff while they are working from home.
Here are some of the ways we’ve been able to keep working for people and nature:
Being able to survey nature is an important part of our work. It’s our early warning system for what nature might be in trouble and its how we see the successes of our actions to save it.
One of the biggest challenges to our monitoring work was how to ensure our staff and survey volunteers have enough equipment to work without needing to share. Previously, our groups would share equipment but that is no longer possible and we faced having to reduce the amount of surveying we could do to allow time for the quarantining and cleaning equipment.
Thanks to this funding, we were able to buy three full kits of equipment for both our dormouse and botanical survey work. We now have enough equipment to work in smaller groups and allow time for quarantining equipment without seriously impacting how much we can do. It means that we should be able to continue to work efficiently and engage and train volunteers, all while remaining COVID-safe.
Confined at home, we had time to really notice the nature in our gardens and local areas and to appreciate it more than ever. Having time in nature really helped with physical and mental wellbeing and is something positive to come out of this difficult time.
Thanks to this funding, we have been able to connect with staff, supporters and members during the pandemic after we invested in new technology to allow us to continue to stay in touch, when we cannot in person, but instead via online and virtually.
This included purchasing cameras, trailcams and editing software to allow us to create more online content for our website and social media channels.
An example of this was a virtual coastal walk event to celebrate World Wetlands Day on February 2. Due to lockdown, we had to cancel all planned events, so instead, our Senior Conservation Ecologist Andy Karran, brought the coast to everyone at home through a film we made of his walk. The film was aired our Facebook and You Tube page. If you haven’t seen it, you can still watch Andy’s film below.
The Covid-19 Emergency grant also paid for new IT equipment to support our staff while working from home and we appointed a new member of staff, much-needed HR and Volunteer officer Sarah Coleman. Sarah joined us last November.
Our new HR and Volunteering Officer Sarah Coleman.