A time for reflection and remembrance

For Individual Giving Officer, Vicki, Remember a Charity Week is a time to reflect on the events of 2020 and remember how much nature needs us to pass on something wonderful.

Last week I joined a team of fundraisers who walked thousands of steps for wildlife, and now that I put my feet up with a cup of tea I can reflect on my journey, not just for that week but my whole life.  

As I rambled across Lancashire, exploring historic sites and wild spaces, I was reminded why I got into nature conservation and why I've dedicated nearly two decades to wildlife.

I was stunned by our glorious landscapes and how precious they are. I was lucky to see red admirals taking their fill on nectar rich flowers, joined by painted ladies and several species of bees. I sat on towering limestone cliffs overlooking Morecambe Bay and the surrounding landscapes that encompass the North West peninsula.

Warton Crag

Morecambe Bay from the top of Warton Crag

Many people before me have had this opportunity, too: watched butterflies flutter across flower-rich grasslands, caught sight of roe deer stalking out of the woods and into green fields, and smiled when the first swallow arrived from its migration across Africa and Europe.

But will our children have the same experience we’ve had? Will they get to see hedgehogs snuffling in their gardens at night? Will they get the chance to explore local woodlands and encounter different smells and textures? Will they get the chance to see whales and dolphins on our coast?

The chances are actually quite slim. Hedgehogs are now officially classified as vulnerable to extinction - I'll let that sink in for a moment.

I remember a time when the family farm used to be a summer of song, when hundreds of swallows danced in the sky feeding on airborne insects. Now there may only be a handful of swallows scooting over the farm. Starlings too; these chatty, beatboxing birds were everywhere I turned but now their numbers are startlingly low.

These changes have happened over my lifetime and unless we do something we will soon loose these iconic and wonderful species from our land.

A hedgehog peeking out from orange autumn leaves

Hedgehog by Tom Marshall

I am lucky to work in nature conservation, to be part of a movement that is directly helping wildlife and saving vitally important habitats. It is encouraging to read, week-on-week, the positive stories from our different project teams, and these positive stories only solidify my passion for the work we all do either on the ground or in the office.

But we can only do this amazing work because of our supporters. As a charity, we rely heavily on membership, grants and donations. The past nine months haven been a rollercoaster for everyone, including charities. Many of the income streams we rely on have suddenly been put on hold, but nature hasn’t. Nature has become the one constant we have relied upon during these past few months.

Five volunteers surrounded by common cotton grass in flower as they collect seeds for on site donation

Staff and volunteers on Cadishead Moss, by Elspeth Ingleby

Since we bought our house nearly four years ago it has been on my mind that we need to make a Will, even though we're only in our 30s. The pandemic helped push me into motion - we truly do not know what is around the corner and it's important to get everything in order. Would my partner know my wishes if I were to die before him?

We contacted McClure Solicitors who offer free Wills and arranged a meeting. Within a month our Wills had been drafted and our Lasting Power of Attorney had been organised. Included in my Will are three charitable donations to charities that are close to my heart, one being Lancashire Wildlife Trust. The donations are modest and though not life changing, they will make a difference to the work of the charities I care about most.  

Now that I have my Will, I can keep it up to date and change it as and when necessary. But if the worst was to happen, I know that my family are cared for and three charities will receive a small donation for their cause.

This week we celebrate Remember a Charity Week, and we're asking all our supporters to take the time to reflect on what nature gives them, and consider leaving a small gift in their Will to enable us to keep fighting for a wildlife-rich future.

As your Individual Giving Officer, I'm here to talk about gifts in Wills whenever you're ready. I'd love to hear from you!

Get in touch

Leaving a gift in your will is one of the most meaningful ways you can help local wildlife

Leave a lasting legacy

Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography