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Chris Packham and Jamal Edwards team up to show how to protect UK wildlife

7th November 2019

Wildlife expert, Chris Packham and entrepreneur and SB.TV founder, Jamal Edwards MBE, have come together to show how people can do their bit to preserve natural habitats in an increasingly urban world, in a bid to help tackle a growing wildlife crisis in the UK.

Their action follows the release of The State of Nature 2019 report which showed the stark challenge we face with preserving UK wildlife, as it was revealed 41 per cent of species studied have declined since 1970, while 133 species assessed have been lost since 15002.

Over the past 25 years, to help protect and conserve wildlife, The National Lottery has injected £829 million into natural heritage conservation across the UK, including £548 million on biodiversity projects and £227 million supporting important and historic landscapes; this includes more than 70,000 hectares of
land acquisition. In addition, more than £900m has been spent revitalising more than 900 public parks. Notable wildlife successes include seabird recovery on Scilly Isles, red squirrels making a comeback in Northern Ireland and the reintroduction of the Chequered Skipper butterfly in Rockingham Forest.

However, wildlife is facing increasing pressures and still more needs to be done.

New research released by The National Lottery shows that more than half of people (56 per cent) want to do more to help wildlife and 97 per cent of people think that preserving natural wildlife is an important issue. However, over a quarter of people (29 per cent) said they do not have enough time to help wildlife and nearly a fifth (19 per cent) of people do not know what they can do to help wildlife.

To help, three of the UK’s major wildlife charities - The Wildlife Trusts, the Woodland Trust and the RSPB - who thanks to funding have been able to have a significant positive impact on preserving and protecting nature - have joined forces with the National Lottery Heritage Fund to today launch 10 tips and easy
ways for people from all walks of life can help play their part in preserving and supporting wildlife.

Chris Packham and Jamal Edwards put the tips into action with a group of participants from the London Wildlife Trust at Woodberry Wetlands in Hackney to build ‘bug hotels’ – simple structures which can shelter hedgehogs, bumblebees, ladybirds and more. Woodberry Wetlands is just one example of 3,500 projects across the UK which exist to help preserve nature, due to funding from The National Lottery.

Chris Packham CBE, TV presenter and wildlife expert said:

“As a society, we’re more aware than ever of the need to protect natural habitats and many of us are rightly alarmed that some of our most beloved species in the UK are in decline simply because of the destruction of their habitats - from bumblebees, to hedgehogs. But this new research shows that, while we want to do more to protect our wildlife, lots of people don’t know what practical steps they can take in their daily lives to help.

“We’re here today to show that there are simple things we can all do to help preserve natural habitats, so I’m delighted to join forces with Jamal Edwards and The National Lottery to show how we can all make a difference.”

Jamal Edwards MBE, founder of SB.TV said:

“Young people are more conscious than ever of their impact on the natural world around them, myself included – so I am passionate about translating that into real action. Today I’ve learned a lot from Chris, and from The Wildlife Trusts, the Woodland Trusts and the RSPB, about how we can create change ourselves. I’ve also been amazed to find out how much funding goes to these brilliant organisations, thanks to National Lottery players. I never thought that buying a National Lottery ticket could not only make someone a millionaire but could also go towards saving a species or helping conserve nature in the UK.”

As well as restoring and opening spaces like the Woodberry Wetlands, The National Lottery funding has also helped support endangered animals, insects, flowers, trees, including species such as bats, hedgehogs, basking sharks, red squirrels, pine martens, water voles, black grouse and the great yellow bumble bee. The National Lottery has also helped projects preserve some of our most important open spaces and coastline for the future, including woodlands, wetlands and meadows, endangered sand dunes, threatened peat bogs and eroding upland habitats.

Chris Packham added:

“As Vice President of the RSPB, I see first-hand the benefit that National Lottery funding has on conserving natural habitats – not just by supporting birds but also protecting animals and insects, creating new parks and increasing urban greenery. Perhaps without even realising it, National Lottery players have hugely contributed to the UK’s fantastic range of wildlife, species and green spaces.”

Ros Kerslake, CEO, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

"The National Lottery has transformed our lives in the UK over the past 25 years. By buying a ticket, players have contributed to preserving natural heritage – whether it’s through supporting wildlife, revitalising our public parks, or conserving landscapes. Quite simply, The National Lottery has made the UK a better place to live and it’s hugely exciting to imagine what could be achieved in the next 25 years."

The Wildlife Trusts, the Woodland Trust and RSPB’s top tips, designed to get more people involved in helping nature, include:

1. Open your garden or balcony as a bird café:

Kick off by making your own bird cake or feeders and don’t forget to provide water in a shallow container for drinking and bathing – then sit back and enjoy their antics!

Clean your bird feeders regularly to help keep your garden birds safe from disease.

2. Grow your plants in containers to maximise space:

For those with a small outdoor space or no garden at all, growing plants in containers and hanging baskets is a great solution for a balcony, porch or windowsill

3. Create a pond:

This is the single best way of attracting wildlife! Even a tiny container pond can attract a whole host of wonderful wildlife. Ensure there are shallow margins so wildlife can get in and out and include native pondweed.

Over the past 25 years, National Lottery players have raised more than £829 million for 3,500 wildlife and habitats projects like London Wildlife Trust’s Keeping It Wild, which help conserve natural heritage. In addition, more than 930 public parks have been revitalised and over 72,000 hectares of land has been bought and restored by The National Lottery.

Discover the positive impact playing The National Lottery has had on your community over the past 25 years by visiting and get involved by using the 25th Birthday hashtag: #NationalLottery25

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors For further information and images, please contact:

Catriona Boyle: - 0207 211 3939

To see 10 ways to do your bit for wildlife – by The Wildlife Trusts, the Woodland Trust, RSPB and National Lottery Heritage Fund, click here: 10 ways to do your bit for wildlife

Additional quotes:

Patience Thody, Acting Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“National Lottery funding has enabled The Wildlife Trusts to protect wildlife and restore beautiful wild places with over 800 fabulous projects across the UK – from rare wetlands and woodlands to precious wildflower meadows. Thanks to The National Lottery, we are empowering people to take action to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies: communities are helping barn owls thrive, young people are bringing nature back to their local environment, and we’re restoring peatlands to lock up carbon. The health and wellbeing benefits are immense. People depend on the natural world and it depends on us – that’s why we’re calling on everyone to help nature recover and create a wilder future.”

Darren Moorcroft, Chief Executive of the Woodland Trust said:

“The Woodland Trust is delighted to help celebrate the 25th birthday of The National Lottery. For a quarter of a century National Lottery players, through the National Lottery Heritage Fund, have helped us to protect and restore irreplaceable ancient woodland and to plant millions of trees. What better way to celebrate than by pledging to plant another million? This year on 30th November

we’re inviting the nation to plant a tree with us as part of the Big Climate Fightback. Whether you come to one of our mass tree planting events or plant a tree in your garden or local community space, every tree counts.”

Adrian Thomas, the RSPB's wildlife gardening expert, said: "We are increasingly realising how important our gardens and local greenspaces can be for wildlife, and as a place where people can have some of their most amazing connections with nature. Engaging with the natural world is proven to be good for our physical and mental wellbeing, so the support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help wildlife and people is helping create a healthy world for us all."

About The National Lottery and its 25th Birthday celebration:

• The National Lottery’s Birthday celebrations are running for eight weeks (from 14 Oct until 6 December). There are some incredible activities planned across the UK to celebrate the good causes that have been made possible thanks to National Lottery players over the last 25 years.

• Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £40 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community.

• The 25th birthday is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact The National Lottery has had on the UK, and to say thank you to National Lottery players for contributing around £30 million to good causes every week.

• The National Lottery has made more than 5,500 millionaires but its primary purpose is giving to good causes - over 565,000 individual grants have been awarded across the UK, that’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district

● National Lottery funding is responsible for the biggest period of civic regeneration since the Victorian era. Sustrans’ The National Cycle Network, Angel of the North, The Eden Project, The Millennium Stadium (to name a few) most likely wouldn’t exist without National Lottery funding.

● The majority (70 per cent) of National Lottery grants are for £10,000 or less, helping small projects make a big difference in their community.

About the Woodland Trust

Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife. The Trust has three key aims: i) protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable, ii) restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life, iii) plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 28,700 hectares. These include over 100 sites in Wales, with a total area of 2,897 hectares (7,155 acres). It offers free public access to nearly all of its sites. The Trust’s Welsh language name, 'Coed Cadw', is an old Welsh term, used in medieval laws to describe protected or preserved woodland.

About The Wildlife Trusts

There are 46 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK. All are working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. We have more than 850,000 members including 150,000 members of our junior branch Wildlife Watch. Our vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. We manage around 2,300 nature reserves and every year we advise thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. We also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Every year we work with thousands of schools and our nature reserves and visitor centres receive millions of visitors. Each Wildlife Trust is working within its local communities to inspire people about the future of their area: their own Living Landscapes and Living Seas.

About the RSPB

The RSPB is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

Case studies

For further information, case studies and images, please contact Catriona Boyle on 0207 211 3939 or email

The impact of Polli:Nation on Olivia, her friends Ava and Catie, and the rest of the 220 pupils at the Hampshire school has been profound. Many of the students are able to identify multiple species of bees and insects and the plants that attract them. During lunch breaks they take turns filling watering cans and wandering among beds filled with lavender, cornflowers and other pollinator- friendly flora such as thistles, Cosmos and Borage. Back from the Brink – an ambitious project that will help save 20 UK native species currently threatened with extinction. This England-wide coordinated effort sees Natural England work in partnership with Amphibian and Reptile Trust, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and RSPB to pool expertise, develop new ways of working and inspire people to save threatened species. Received £4.6 million.

Save Our Magnificent Meadows Project – over the next four years, 74,000 acres across the UK will be conserved and restored as wildflower meadows and grasslands. Over 500,000 members of the public will be involved in the project, led by Plantlife working in close partnership with ten organisations including county wildlife trusts, the National Trust, RSPB, Cotswold Conservation Board and Medway Valley Countryside Partnership. Meadows and other grasslands are an intrinsic part of the UK’s natural and cultural heritage: rich in landscape character, farming, folklore and history, they are as much a part of our heritage as the works of Shakespeare.

Other grants include RSPB Sandwell, West Bromwich which received £630,000 to improve its Sandwell Valley Nature Reserve, a site teeming with more than 200 bird species and many more hundreds of plants and butterflies, and Ryevitalise, is being run by a partnership lead by the North York Moors National Park Authority. It will improve water quality and restore biodiversity around the landscapes of the River Rye.