Respecting nature is respecting ourselves. At Dora Larsen HQ, we believe it’s our duty to give back to organisations that work to protect and restore the natural world. This August, as part of our pledge to 1% for the Planet, we’re donating £10 from every order to the London Wildlife Trust.
We sat down with Ailie MacDonald Wilson, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Trust, to talk about the work they do, and how we can help.
Who are the London Wildlife Trust, and what do they do?
“We at London Wildlife Trust are dedicated to protecting, conserving and enhancing the capital’s wildlife and wild spaces. Central to our work is a vision of a London alive with nature, where everyone can experience and enjoy wildlife. We manage 37 free-to-access nature reserves across the capital and engage with London’s diverse communities through practical land management, campaigning, volunteering and education in order to give London’s wildlife a voice.The Trust is one of 46 Wildlife Trusts working across the UK, with the support of over 800,000 members and 40,000 volunteers, to make our local areas wilder and make nature part of life, for everyone.”
Research shows that interacting in and having a connection to nature is essential for our wellbeing. Do you have any advice on what steps we can take to grow and develop our relationship with nature?
“Making a little time every day to connect with nature goes a long way to help improve our physical and mental wellbeing. Seek out your nearest nature reserve or green space to spend time in. Observe the plants and any wildlife you see there and over time, note how things change with the seasons. Have the trees grown fruit or lost their leaves? Are the animals behaving differently? What new growth has appeared? Taking notice of the everyday wildlife on your doorstep is a simple way to make that connection with nature a part of our everyday lives.”
Do you feel like people’s attitudes towards the natural world have changed over the last two years?
“Over lockdown we saw a huge increase in visitors to our urban nature reserves, and a surge in interest from people in the benefits that spending time in nature can bring. Particularly in the city, the value of nature, and the importance of being able to easily access green space, really does seem to be more widely acknowledged. It has been wonderful to see people enjoying the city’s wildlife, getting to know more about their garden birds and insects. The increase in visitors to our reserves has an impact ecologically which takes management, but the more people who value our city’s nature makes it more likely its future will be safeguarded.”
If you could get everyone to do one thing to help encourage more wildlife in the city what would it be?
“Any space, no matter how small, can offer a haven for wildlife in the city. Whether you have a garden, an allotment, balcony or even just a window box, giving a little of it over to nature makes a difference. Planting for pollinators can help address the sharp decline of the UK’s insect population. We’ve got some tips on how to do that here: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/best-plants-bees-and-pollinators”
What do you think is the most important thing about the work that you’re doing?
“Our work to bring about nature’s recovery in London is a vital piece in our city’s fight against climate change and its effects. Nature can cool our city down, protect it from flooding, and improve our air quality – but we need healthy and resilient habitats to do that. London has wetlands, grasslands, woodlands, all that we work to protect and enhance for Londoners and the wildlife that is found there.”
What goals are on the horizon for the London Wildlife Trust in the coming year?
“Earlier this year we announced our participation, along with many other Wildlife Trusts nationally, in Next Door Nature, an exciting new incentive funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund which will give young people the skills, tools, and opportunity to take action for nature in their local areas. In the coming year we’re excited to be working with new young people, and people currently under-represented in nature conservation.”
See some of the latest projects London Wildlife Trust are working on by visiting the website: https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/news
Charity number: 283895