The Covid-19 situation has exacerbated what would already have been a very difficult year for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW);
- The grants we usually receive from Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Government to help fund our conservation work have not been agreed for the new financial year, leaving a hole in our budgets.
- Ash Dieback has affected many of our nature reserves, resulting in an urgent need to find £100,000 to deal with the trees posing the highest risks. This is only for a tiny proportion of our ash trees, only those in close proximity to key infrastructure, but is nonetheless a substantial cost.
- Then the floods caused damage to some of our most popular walking routes.
- On top of this, the restrictions imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19 have meant that our main income source has suddenly stopped.
We earn nearly 50% of our income through tourism-related activities; cafes, shops, holiday accommodation and Skomer landings, and the lockdown comes at our busiest time of year which is disastrous!
For these reasons our WTSWW Board of Trustees has had to make a series of very rapid, difficult and far-reaching decisions.
- All our visitor centres are closed, as are Skomer and Skokholm Islands, although we need to keep the staff on the Islands to continue their essential conservation work.
- 40 WTSWW staff have been furloughed, leaving a small team of skeleton staff to continue with urgent tasks that have to be done to keep the Trust functioning as a business.
- We are only able to keep on two staff to carry out livestock and security checks across our suite of over 100 nature reserves. This drastic reduction in staffing will mean that all of our hard work to keep our nature reserves in the best condition for wildlife will fall behind and we will have a lot of work to do once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
We need to raise funds to replace our lost income, and to ensure our Wildlife Trust has a future…. and is still here next year!
These really are worrying times and every donation does make a big difference.
Please help us ensure that wildlife has a future in south and West Wales by making a donation however big or small.