New leader joins UK’s much-loved force for nature as charities wrestle with pandemic fallout
Craig Bennett becomes new CEO of The Wildlife Trusts on Monday 6th April. He arrives at a time when people seek solace in nature from the coronavirus – but, like so many other charities and businesses, The Wildlife Trusts are struggling with the severe implications of the pandemic on funding, resources, and necessary absence of the 38,000 volunteers that usually help care for thousands of precious wild places and the species that depend on them.
When the UK emerges from coronavirus, the ongoing nature and climate crises will still remain to be tackled and The Wildlife Trusts want to be leading efforts to do this – but they need people’s continued support to survive.
The Wildlife Trusts are a movement of 46 charities whose collective strength often falls below the radar because they operate at a local, grassroots level; their positive influence for nature and on people’s lives is immense.
Craig Bennett, new CEO of The Wildlife Trusts says: “These are desperate times. We’re facing global health, climate and ecological emergencies, and people are turning to, and need, nature more than ever. But when the pandemic has passed, there is a battle to resume – to restore nature and to empower people to take action for the natural world. At The Wildlife Trusts, we have a pivotal role to play and have a clear understanding of the urgency. We have long recognised that conserving nature – protecting the wild places and nature that remain – is not enough; we must all do more to restore the abundance of nature, restore ecosystem processes, and reverse the UK’s status as one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. We want to see at least a third of land and sea given to nature by 2030. In short, we want our nature back.