Sir David Attenborough backs Sussex Wildlife Trust legacy campaign

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Sir David Attenborough is supporting Sussex Wildlife Trust in its quest to protect vulnerable wildlife this week (September 12-18).

The broadcaster and naturalist is backing the conservation organisation for Remember A Charity Week to encourage people to leave a donation in their will to save wildlife.

Thanks to those who have remembered the trust in their wills so far, otters, bats, butterflies and several bird species have regained a safe haven in the county.

Sir David, President Emeritus at The Wildlife Trusts, said: “The future is much too important to be left to chance.

“I am sure, like me, you are concerned about the future of our planet and it is important we leave a thriving natural world for future generations to know and enjoy.

“That’s why making a will is one of the most important jobs that any of us has to do.”

Conservation work funded by donations left in wills has seen otters return to Sussex having been almost wiped out following campaign to clean up waterways and rivers.

The nightjar, a bird in decline, is now thriving thanks to heathland restoration projects made possible by legacies left to the trust by individuals.

Other species brought back from the brink by the trust’s efforts include bats as well as the vulnerable lesser spotted woodpecker and wood white butterfly.

Numbers of the scarce Barbastelle bat in particular, one of Britain’s rarest mammals, have doubled around the trust’s Ebernoe Common nature reserve in West Susssex.

Three quarters of Britons regularly give to charity in their lifetimes, yet only seven per cent currently include a charity in their will.

Legacy gifts are still the foundation of many of Britain’s charities, donating a crucial £2billion each year, the equivalent of 19 Comic Reliefs.

Mark Barkaway, who heads up the Legacy team at Sussex Wildlife Trust said: “A gift in your will could help us create another success story like Woods Mill nature reserve at Henfield with its streams, marshland, lake and ancient woodland.

“We have carefully managed this crucial landscape, establishing an education centre visited by hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren over the years, helping them to learn and experience wildlife at first hand.

“We have exciting plans for the years ahead as we want to secure a further 6,000 hectares of land in the county to protect vital wildlife habitats and help to create near-naturally functioning wetlands on all our river catchments.

“This will provide a home for wildfowl and waders and will be used by hundreds of thousands of birds.”

To find out more about the work of the Sussex Wildlife Trust and how you can offer your support during Remember a Charity Week please email markbarkaway@sussexwt.org.uk or telephone Mark for an informal chat on 01273 497520.

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