WILDLIFE TRUST HAPPY WITH BREXIT FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT
The announcement that payments currently received via agri-environment schemes will be honoured at least until 2020 has been described as “great news” for the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and for nature-friendly farming.
Chief Executive Sarah Mason said that the Government’s decision, which came after significant lobbying of the Treasury by nature charities and farming groups, gives Scilly’s Wildlife Trust “the certainty it needs to deliver good quality, effective land management on the islands”.
However, she warned in the Trust’s annual review that this is not the time for complacency, adding: “In the coming months I will be talking to local businesses, visitors and other stakeholders who benefit from the Trust’s work to see how we can increase support via other means, so that our vital work can continue beyond 2020.”
The Trust’s achievements in the last financial year include installing 152m of recycled plastic boardwalk and a new viewing screen in the nature trails, as well as keeping 17 miles of permissive paths open; designing and installing information panels at key wildlife sites across the islands; running a full programme of environmental activities for residents of and visitors; and controlling 36.34 hectares of invasive Bracken across St Martins, Bryher, St Agnes and St Mary’s to make space for a more diverse range of plants, insects and birds.
They have also secured a further four years funding from DEF RA through the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, “an achievement in the current financial climate”.
The Trust saw a 37.9% decrease in grant funding over the year, but its income has increased by 21.6% due to a legacy from a long standing Member.
The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Newsletter and Yearbook are available online.