The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is the UK’s leading wetland conservation charity. Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery WWT is working to protect, create and restore wetlands in many places in the UK and abroad.
WWT was founded in 1946 and today manages ten diverse wetland reserves across the UK, delivering amazing nature experiences for over one million visitors every year. The centres and reserves provide learning and recreational opportunities as well as health and wellbeing benefits for all.
The way we live is changing; today most live in urban environments with little access to the health and wellbeing benefits of nature. According to the United Nations 68% of people will be living urban lives by 2050. Wetlands play a unique role in supporting people’s physical and mental health.
The benefits of time in nature are now well recognised by health care professionals as a way to prevent illness and reduce the social burden of chronic disease.
In 2021, WWT will provide more opportunities for people to spend time in wetland environments to improve and maintain their health.
This year WWT will be focusing on placing wetlands at the heart of the UK’s Green Recovery, the charity’s Blue Recovery strategy. WWT will highlight how wetlands are critical blue infrastructure for the future, holding much of our natural capital and providing many essential goods and services for our economy and quality of life.
The WWT team will be inspiring people to take their own action for wetlands through activities they can do at home such as building a garden pond or campaigning for nature. Around World Wetlands Day at the start of February WWT will be highlighting the benefits of wetlands for everyone. WWT will also be hosting a virtual Blue Recovery event in March.
WWT did everything they could to keep wetland centres across Britain safely open during 2020 as much as possible when government restrictions allowed to give people the chance to reap the benefits of connecting with nature. When the crisis started in 2020, WWT stepped up online engagement to give people ideas of how nature could be enjoyed remotely or at home. This included a learning hub for those who were home-schooling; the hub attracted 67,000 views and rave reviews. Whilst WWT sadly has had to close its centres again temporarily at the start of 2021, they are making sure everyone gets a dose of nature by ramping up online engagement again.
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £3 million for WWT. This year, player support will enable WWT to:
- Restore, create and protect wetland reserve habitat
- Help people get closer to nature and experience the amazing health and wellbeing benefits that wetlands provide
- Motivate everyone to value wetlands and inspire people to take action for conservation
- Help protect the beautiful Bewick’s Swan against illegal shooting