Inspirational tree-planter’s legacy delivers £1.9m windfall for nature

Weymouth

A  Butterfly Conservation (BC) project that will create habitat for butterflies in urban areas has beneffited from a  grant thanks to a trust set up in memory of an inspirational environmentalist, it has been revealed.

Patsy Wood – who was born, raised and studied in Oxford – tragically died ten years ago while still in her forties, leaving behind an enhanced landscape in her native town and in parts of Wales as a result of her tireless tree and hedgerow planting.

The Patsy Wood Trust, set up in her name, is now winding down and in its swan-song has disbursed £1.9 million to five nature conservation charities to carry out a range of projects.

BC have been awarded £300,422 by the trust for our four-year Building Sites for Butterflies project.

This innovative UK- wide scheme will work with the landscape and engineering industry to encourage major new developments and infrastructure projects such as new roads, to make room for butterflies and moths by making simple design changes so new sites include the creation of wildlife-friendly habitats – helping to return declining butterflies and moths to our urban environment.

The following charities and projects will be supported by the grant:

  • £536,000 to Future Trees Trust to help bolster their tree-breeding research capacity over the next four years. This will include two full-time research posts, and the part-funding of two PhD studies and industrial placements for and to part-fund sandwich students.
  • £435,000 to Earth Trust towards the charity’s new Skills and Learning building – an inclusive centre for learning where young people can develop life skills, improve their classroom learning and enhance their attainment. It will be a creative, inspirational, space that will encourage an understanding and a love for trees, food and water and develop ambition to look after their local greenspaces and their environment.
  • £268,000 to the John Muir Trust for conservation management around Helvellyn in the Lake District. This will enable wildlife to thrive in the future amid more abundant tree cover, while retaining a balance that includes the traditional, open sheep-grazing landscape of the Lakes. It will also help mitigate flooding in the local area.
  • £365,171 to the South East Rivers Trust for the Water For All project over the next four years. The project will work with business and communities in the South East of England to help them understand where their water comes from, reduce their water use and support them in delivering action to contribute to a more sustainable future for water in the environment.