Like much of the country, all at the GWCT are contemplating how the latest lockdown restrictions might affect us. Without our usual fundraising activity, we are facing a £1.4m shortfall in our usual income across the year. Thankfully, you, our members and supporters, give us hope. We have been overwhelmed by your generosity at a difficult time for everyone.
Despite the challenges, we have been able to achieve a great deal this year. In recent weeks we have been actively responding to the RSPB demand for tougher restrictions on gamebird releasing, not only in the scientific press but in the newspapers, online and on the radio.
This was supported by the publication of our Principles of Sustainable Gamebird Management, providing a framework that works alongside the aims of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, including the creation, management and restoration of habitat specifically for wildlife. None of this would be possible without the support of our members and supporters.
Donations also help us to plan for a better future. This year we have been able to keep our usual intake of placement students. Students play an essential role in fieldwork and data analysis, but also provide us with an opportunity not only to enhance their practical education but also an appreciation of the role of good land management in helping biodiversity.
We are fortunate to have the support of thousands of members and supporters who make our vital work possible. More than 700 of you have donated to our Unleash the Science Fund, helping us to raise over £65,000 so far.
This fund will give us the confidence to plan for the challenges we continue to face. It supports over 60 scientific staff, who are out there come rain or shine collecting the data we need to improve the national understanding of wildlife and active management.
It empowers us to stand up for working conservation and challenge misinformation in the media. And it allows us to reach more than 50,000 email subscribers every week and tens of thousands more on social media, giving them a robust, evidence-led account of what is happening in our countryside.
We know that money is still tight, but anything you can do to support will help. While our average donation is £89, we are grateful for those of you who have given £5 or £10 in these difficult times to ensure our work continues.
From everyone at the GWCT, thank you.