SIR DAVID Attenborough is among highlights in a video celebrating the 50th anniversary of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
The trust is marking 50 years of safeguarding wildlife in the county and across Coventry and Solihull with the help of its members, staff, volunteers and visitors.
A film has been produced to look back at some of the highlights of the last five decades and where the trust is today. The film will be released across its social media channels and website at 1pm on Friday (November 27).
In 1970, local people came together to establish the charity in response to a crisis. Nature sites were under threat from human development and there was an urgent need to protect wildlife for the future. Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has grown from two to 67 nature reserves and now has over 24,000 supporters.
The trust’s Brandon Marsh Nature Centre was opened by Sir David Attenborough in 1992 and his footprints mark the entrance to the reserve. The film unveils a photo of Sir David being helped by Chloe Speight, who revisited Brandon Marsh to remember that day. Brandon Marsh is still being improved and last year the space was doubled by adding a new nature reserve, Brandon Reach.
It also shows then CEO, Andy Tasker, and fellow protestors taking to a valuable wildlife site in Bishop’s Itchington in 1988, hoping to save it from developers.
Campaigning continues today and the film shows footage of trust staff and supporters joining 12,000 people in a Mass Lobby at Westminster last year, to persuade MPs to support a strong Environment Bill and a Wilder Future.
Since the very beginning, volunteers have been crucial in helping the trust deliver its work, with the first paid staff member appointed in 1973. Now the trust has over 600 volunteers, getting hands on with nature, assisting in offices, visitor centres and out at events.
A spokesperson said: “Today the UK stands on the verge of another crisis for its natural world. Now is the critical time to bring about nature’s recovery and the Trust believes, with local support, they can help bring wildlife back and reconnect people with nature.”