Producer Membership Recruitment Campaign

The Soil Association have a target to increase the number of organic farmers in the UK to 35%. Restore Our Planet’s donation was to assist them in achieving this vision through increased publicity and support.

The Soil Association’s ‘Producer Membership Programme’ provides a range of support to organic producers. This includes a free technical helpline with up-to-date technical and marketing information, online access to a range of technical literature and services, reduced rates for all training, farm visit service, and local support from one of their new regional offices. Our support was enabled the Soil Association to review their services and to expand promotional materials. This has enabled the them to attract 4000 new producers to become licensees of their scheme and to increase the number of enquiries to their conversion service by 42%.

Our grant also enable the Soil Association to demonstrate the support they offer to all organic producers, which was an integral part of securing a regional presence in four regions of England.

Say NO to Heathrow Expansion

95% of businesses say there’s no gain from expanding Heathrow.

If they don’t want it, who does?

The latest polls show that only 4% of British companies want Heathrow expansion, but 37% want a new high-speed rail line to the North. So let’s stop using business as an excuse for expansion.

Operation Ocean Task Force – Albatross protection

Restore Our Planet are supporting the RSPB task force who protect the Albatross by educating the world’s fishermen regarding the use of longlines. All 21 species of albatross are threatened or near threatened with extinction, mainly because so many of them are caught on fishing long lines each year. Lines up to 80 miles long may contain 10,000 hooks baited with albatross’ favourite food, often squid. They seize the baits, become hooked and get dragged underwater where they drown.

It is estimated that 300,000 seabirds are killed in this way each year, 100,000 of which are albatrosses. Albatross do not start breeding until they are at least seven years old. Each species of albatross lays only one egg at a time some once every two years, with individuals known to live up to 80 years each death is a real tragedy. Support from Restore Our Planet has given a huge boost to the work of the RSPB/BirdLife International Albatross Task Force.

It has enabled RSPB to put in place Task Force Instructors in some of the key fishing ports in the southern hemisphere. These intrepid and dedicated staff are making a real difference by meeting with fishermen in ports and on boats and showing them the simple measures they can take to prevent albatrosses becoming caught and drowned on longline hooks.

For more information, visit and click on the Albatross Task Force link. This provides the latest updates from the Task Force who are keeping web diaries (or blogs) of their experiences.

Fight against Bird Hunting in Malta

The illegal hunting and trapping of birds is widespread across the Mediterranean.

Restore Our Planet have helped fund the work of the Hawk & Owl Trust with Birdlife Malta tackle the illegal killing of raptors over Malta where some 5,000 are killed every year. Hunters were monitored and arrests coordinated. A poster was also produced featuring raptors such as honey buzzards and marsh harriers migrating together with a report on how bird tourism could augment other visitors to Malta in the relevant months, if the hunting can be controlled.

In dealing with the issue of illegal trapping and hunting of birds Restore’s long term focus is on the RSPB’s campaign presently active in Cyprus and Malta. (For more detail see RSPB listing in Campaigns)

Developing a Low Carbon Future

The clean, efficient and renewable technologies that can heat our homes, power our vehicles and keep the lights on already exist. The global shift towards these clean alternatives has already begun but we need to work much harder if we are to meet our climate change targets required to protect our planet. For the last two years more was invested globally in clean energy production than fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

In 2011 it is expected that China will invest more in clean energy than fossil fuels. Currently Britain is lagging behind. Greenpeace plans to undertake a number of research projects that they have identified as crucially important in educating the public and decision-makers about how we become a low carbon society.

Specific activities within the project will include: commissioning of joint NGO policy report to show how UK incentives could be in the right place for sustainable biomass production; developing the terms of reference with Oxford University to prepare for researching a report on a strategy for the building stock; feeding in to the Energy market Reform process; a long term vision looking at a sustainable energy system for 2030/2050.

The overall objective of this project is to ensure that decision-makers in the UK make the right choices in planning how we use and produce energy in the future.

Get Serious About CO2

Friends of the Earth ( FoE ) is calling for local action to prevent dangerous climate change through their Get Serious About CO2 campaign which calls on local authorities to cut their carbon emissions.

Emissions from local activities such as powering homes and offices or travelling to work or school amount to a massive 80% of the UK`s total climate pollution. If we are to meet our national commitments in the world leading Climate Change Act we need to tackle climate change where we can get the best results, locally. FoE are calling for local councils to commit to cutting their emissions by 40% by 2020 and Government to introduce a nationwide system of local carbon budgets. At a local level they will work closely with their network of 230 grassroots volunteer groups to encourage their councils to create and lead strategies to reduce carbon emissions in homes, businesses an transport.

At national level FoE will provide decision makers with research demonstrating the benefits to local economies and people of cutting carbon emissions. Many councils and decision makers are already on board but more need to sign up to persuade the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to introduce local carbon budgets for every council and to provide government support to help them reach targets.

The latest science tells us that carbon emissions need to fall immediately, and quickly, so that we avoid dangerous climate change. The alternative is that billions of the world`s poorest people will be left homeless and hungry and species and habitats will continue to be destroyed.

For more information about the campaign watch this short film (opens a new window)

Iberian Lynx habitat protection

The Iberian Lynx is the most endangered big cat in the world. Its population decimated by habitat fragmentation, centuries of human persecution and vanishing prey.

WWF’s objectives, in order to help conserve the last remaining Lynx, are to stabilise and increase the remaining breeding populations, and ensure that adequate areas of Mediterranean forest are protected in order to guarantee the long-term viability of the Iberian Lynx.

Since 2002 the territories of 8 female lynxes have been restored with the birth of over 50 kittens.

Camera traps have been used to record each individual and to better understand those that remain. Also radio collars enable lynxes to be followed as they move into new territories.This helps prevent poaching and also to identify which roads are too dangerous to cross.

WWF has been managing a captive breeding programme and releasing lynxes to formally occupied habitats. By mid 2015 45 captive-bred lynxes had been released. In particular the authorities are being encouraged to remain vigilant as poaching and road kills remain a threat. The new population in Extremadura is already growing with two of the released females having six cubs in early 2017.

In 2001 when Restore provided funding towards this project there were fewer than 100 lynx left. By 2017 there were over 300.

Ambatotsirongorongo Forest Restoration

Located on the coast of southern Madagascar ( approx. 30 kms west of Tolanaro )and opening to the Indian Ocean, Ambatotsirongorongo Forest ( AF ), a Protected Area in the process of creation, extends across four Rural Communes, namely Sarisambo, Ankaramena, Ranopiso and Analapatsy. Despite its relatively small size AF ( project area 673.3 ha ), which is divided into three fragments, is particularly rich in both flora and fauna. Recent inventories show 220 species of flora and 17 mammal species including 7 species of lemur, 56 species of herpetofaunic have been identified including 16 species of amphibians and 40 species of reptiles. Of the 59 bird species, 20 are endemic to Madagascar.

Today, further to various pressures, anthropic mainly, the areas covered by the forest fragments have dangerously decreased so the existence of that biodiversity is seriously threatened.

The objectives of this project are to restore the forest area and ensure its long term viability. The main intervention strategies involve: a participatory approach with the involvement of all communities and stakeholders; the promotion of a nursery specialist job as a new income-generating activity; capacity building in forest restoration techniques; monthly based monitoring.

Ultimately it is envisaged this will result in a community owned project with 310.2 ha of restored forest ( protected 363 ha ), income-generating activity via the nursery and the local expertise to continue in the future.

Restore Our Planet has agreed support for the five years of this project.

Tigers Forever Initiative – habitat protection

The Wildlife Conservation Society works throughout the world to save ‘Living Landscapes’ – large wild ecosystems that are amongst the most biologically important regions on earth. Over the past 100 years WCS has helped governments around the world create more than 130 parks and protected areas, spanning hundreds of thousands of square miles.

Restore Our Planet’s support was focused at protecting tiger habitats. Tigers are critically endangered today having been reduced to 5% of their former abundance in just 100 years. Restore Our Planet’s support has helped allow WCS to take the lead in creating synergy among their individual tiger projects to bolster their impact on tiger conservation at the global level.

This has resulted in the formation of the ‘Tigers Forever’ initiative. This initiative is an ambitious programme aimed at increasing tiger populations across key WCS sites by 50% over 10 years. The focus being India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, China and Malaysia. Activities supported include identifying and protecting critical habitats, training park guards and educational campaigns about traditional medicines.

Enrichment planting in the Kazimzumbwi Forest

This project is a beneficiary of the Gaia/African Biodiversity Network Micro-Projects Fund.

This project is focused on Pugu and Kazimzumbwi Forests near Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Both forest reserves have become severely degraded due to human`s irresponsible interaction with the environment and the consequences of severe poverty. Encroachment by farmers, businessmen and more recently pastoralists have all contributed.

The government has now recognised the shortfalls of its previous resource management approaches and has formulated new enabling policies in favour of community involvement in natural resource management which promote awareness and a shift from regulation to participatory management.

As a result community dialogues and research will be conducted on the valuable indigenous knowledge held by elders. Awareness raising campaigns regarding forest protection and tree planting will take place at schools and in the community and tree seedlings for planting will be distributed between 430 smallholder farmers and 10 primary schools.

The Tamale Tree and Land Use Project

This project brings together 1500 people in ten communities in the northern region of Ghana, an area increasingly threatened by rapid deforestation and resultant land degradation.

The project helps each community to establish a tree nursery, construct a well, and plant a ten hectare woodlot. In all 120,000 seedflings will be raised and planted out. 80,000 tree seedlings will be used in establishing dedicated woodlots for woodfuel, with another 40,000 planted in on farm agro-forestry systems designed to enhance soil fertility and local food security.

Two of the communities will also protect 4 hectares of degraded natural woodland to ensure its regeneration in order to further protect the land.

Dano Trees for Women Project in Burkina Faso

The project aim is to use local women to promote sustainable management of forest resources in an area of Burkina Faso subject to rapid deforestation and increasingly vulnerable to processes of desertification.

In total 24,759 people are benefiting from the scheme across 40 villages. 1600 mostly female members of an association whose name translates as ‘Positive steps for self reliance’, are involved in managing 40 hectares of community based natural woodland in 8 villages. With a further five villages and schools benefiting from the establishment of tree nurseries and training programs.

These nurseries are raising 30,000 seedlings which are being planted out in community woodlots for the provision of firewood, and shelter belts and windbreaks to prevent further soil degradation.

The Dano project has trained almost 3,000 people in tree management and community forest resource management techniques. Backed by the establishment of 29 hectares of designated communal woodlots in the villages and schools which is providing a dedicated resource, replacing the need to fell indigenous hardwood trees which are essential for the continued viability of the land.

Soils and Forestry Ecosystems Conservation

65% of Mali’s land area is desert or semi-desert with the country suffering from serious environmental difficulties. Trees are a vital resource with deforestation leading to soil erosion which is exacerbating food insecurity and poverty.

Our contribution to the Tamale project has over 3 years helped the communities to raise of 78,000 tree seedlings (15 different varieties) to create 3 hectares of communal wood in each of 13 villages. These communal woodlots provide fuelwood, timber, carpentry materials, for over 18,500 individual beneficiaries and therefore avoid the local deforestation that has lead to soil degradation and increasing desertification.

The planting has also provided vital food produce – by way of fruit, oil, seeds and edible leaves, and with further training in forest resource management and agroforestry provided for over 3,000 individual participants the project aims to ensure that these sustainable practices are further developed within the local communities.

Monduli – Maasai Sustainable Community forest resource management

Monduli is a Masai area to the north of Tanzania. The TIST programs empower subsistence farmers in the area to combat the devastating effects of poverty, food shortage, deforestation and disease by planting trees.

In planting these trees the Small Groups of farmers also produce a virtual cash crop of community forest-based carbon credits for which they receive ongoing cash payments. This income serves to augment the community benefits afforded by the program’s planting schemes which are designed to afford maximum benefit to local participants through reafforestation, agro-forestry and community lead forest resource management.

Restore Our Planet have funded two clusters of groups comprising 100 small groups are planting 440,000 trees over 3 years. It is hoped this model will be the launch platform to go into other Masai areas in Tanzania and Kenya opening the political door for significant expansion of this initiative.

Sustainable Community forest resource management

The TIST programs empowers subsistence farmers in Uganda to combat the devastating effects of poverty, food shortage, deforestation and disease by planting trees.

In planting these trees the Small Groups of farmers also produce a virtual cash crop of community forest-based carbon credits for which they receive ongoing cash payments. This income serves to augment the community benefits afforded by the program’s planting schemes which are designed to afford maximum benefit to local participants through reafforestation, agro-forestry and community lead forest resource management.

Starting in July 2005 the target was to the plant 150,000 new trees over 3 years with the establishment and involvement of 150 small groups in the Bushenyi district of Uganda. Having reached the end of this initial period the reality is that over 550,000 trees were planted with the establishment of 290 small groups.

One Tree Campaign – Mumias

‘In Africa for every 28 trees cut down only one is re-planted. We believe that every time one tree gets chopped down, another tree should be planted.’ Seeds for Africa’s ‘One Tree’ campaign, is geared towards planting fruit trees to alleviate poverty and preserve the natural environment.

The campaign plants fruit trees across Africa in under-privileged schools and communities, providing training in gardening skills that bestow independence, encourage nutritious diets, and secure reliable sources of food for their future.

We have helped provide funding for 1000 fruit trees to be planted across a number of schools in the Mumias region of Western Kenya, SfA’s Agricultural Coordinator for Kenya gas carefully selected the following schools to benefit from the project. Mayoni primary school, Namulung A.C.K primary school, Mtungu primary school and Mukhweya primary school. This includes the provision of saplings, equipment, a water harvesting kit, (10,000 litre metal tank linked to schools roofs via guttering) and the training necessary to grow and sustain the fruit tree orchards.

Participants learn agricultural skills which benefit them for life, and the project provides sustainable fruit production for communities lacking in food security and quality.

Illegal hunting of migratory birds – Malta

In Malta, during the spring and autumn, many migrating and resident birds are illegally and indiscriminately shot both on land and at sea. Songbirds are also trapped to be caged as `pets’. Until 2004, Malta was outside the EU in regard to illegal shooting and trapping, and continued to disregard laws relating to the issue. After much hard work by many organisations, Malta finally accepted in March 2006 that it was in breach of EU law and made changes to its hunting legislation.

Undoubtedly, this was a step in the right direction, though hunting and trapping still takes place. (A recent assessment published in 2016 estimated that around 130,000 birds are still illegally killed on average each year.) Building on the `best practice` model developed in Cyprus and supported by Restore Our Planet in 2006-2008, the RSPB and BirdLife Malta initiated a major project to tackle this problem. The eight areas covered in the project were bird population monitoring; advocacy and lobbying; public awareness; law enforcement; surveillance; pan-Mediterranean co-operation; organisational development; public participation. Restore Our Planet agreed to help fund this project as a logical extension to the positive results achieved in Cyprus.

Illegal hunting of migratory birds – Cyprus

Restore Our Planet offered annual support for the RSPB’s campaign against the illegal trapping and hunting of birds in Europe from 2003-2008. This involved support for political advocacy work at a national and European level through the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. In particular, it helped the RSPB to support its partner organisations in Cyprus to take action in partnership with the local authorities to monitor and crack down on the activities of illegal trappers.

This work resulted in over 500 prosecutions, a ten-fold increase in fines and a six-fold increase in the length of prison sentences. The campaign involved education projects and high-profile media activity in Cyprus, the UK and more widely, encouraging supporters to voice their protests to the relevant authorities. The success of this was shown in a 2005 opinion poll indicating that 88% of Cypriots believed the trapping of birds for commercial purposes was unacceptable. As a result of this campaign, illegal, inhumane trapping activity was reduced during 2003-2006 by 80%+ with more than 20 million birds saved from the trappers.

Nkhata Bay – Reforestation and natural tree conservation project – Malawi

Rates of deforesetation in Malawi are amongst the highest in the world, degrading the land and threatening the viability of local communities.

RIPPLE Africa have an ambitious plan to halt the spread of deforestation which is proceeding northwards across the country and now threatens the picturesque Nkhata Bay District of Nothern Malawi. In perhaps the largest re-afforestation project ever undertaken in Malawi, 4,000 square kms has been allocated by local chiefs on which to grow 4 million trees. This endeavour will be supported by RIPPLE Africa who are helping locals to establish community tree nurseries each growing 3,000-6,000 trees.

In 2006 Restore Our Planet supported this work by fully funding the set up and maintenance of 50 tree nurseries to grow 500,000 saplings to be planted out under community forest resource management schemes. These trees include fast growing species for woodfuel and timber to be planted in managed woodlots, as well as indigenous hardwood and fruit trees that will be used to re-establish forest cover, maintain the soil and water courses, and provide livelihood opportunities for the local communities. The project’s holistic approach is driven by local communities and includes facilitating the local production and marketing of fuel efficient wood burning stoves in order to decrease the burden on local forest resources, along with education and training in community forest resource management, composting and other sustainable land use practices. Over 40,000 households now have a Changa Moto fuel efficient cookstove. Due to the success of the first nurseries we agreed to provide funds for a further 50 new nurseries in 2007 and a further 25 in 2008. Since the project began in 2006, over 175 community groups have been helped to plant over 5 million trees.

Protecting Ecosystems in Savelugu Nanton

Ghana occupies a total land of 238,578 square kilometres with current population estimates at 23 million. In Northern Ghana approximately 30-40% live in areas subject to desertification.

The link between development and environmental issues is widely documented. However the quest for economic growth has, for a long time, overshadowed environmental concerns.The process of development has often left in its trail deterioration of productive lands, deforestation, desertification and air and water pollution.The effect of all these on rural livelihoods is enormous, and in the case of Northern Ghana, where there is historical political neglect, deepening poverty remains the lot of the people.

However, windows of opportunity do exist where action can be taken to safeguard the environment, stabilise rural livelihoods and maintain a healthy ecological balance.

Scientists and those concerned with preserving natural ecosystems are recognising that societies once called `primitive` hold knowledge that is critical to science, particularly in the search for new medicines and conservation efforts.The National Forestry Policy 1948 officially recognised the cultural importance of sacred groves yet these sites still face pressure from development. In Zoosali large plots of land close to a sacred grove are being targeted by speculators.

Restore has agreed funding to purchase and protect this land for the local community allowing natural regeneration and where appropriate the planting of indigenous trees and grasses.
A Learning Centre will also be created providing training on ecosystem conservation for community members with ongoing monitoring an evaluation.

Sustainable Community forest resource management scheme

Ghana continues to suffer from rapid de-forestation, leading to the chronic degradation of the country’s land resources, its environment and its eco-system.

The RAINS project, in collaboration with the Taimako Herbal Plant Centre, aims to address this by enabling a group of communities in Northern Ghana to recuperate their environment and diversify their sources of livelihood. These groups will halt and reverse the destruction of food trees and establish nurseries and community managed woodlots. The planting of medicinal and herbal plants and the building of a documented knowledge bank for traditional and indigenous knowledge systems will also feature.

In total 1.2 million seedlings will be nurtured, in a project involving 40 community groups and a total of over 800 participants. Over two years these groups will plant and maintain as many as 180,000 of these trees themselves – with other seedlings being sold at subsidised rates to other local communities. In combination with the increased revenues from non-timber forest products that the scheme will encourage through its Market Access Promotion Network the project aims to become self-funding within two years.

Working with indigenous Yawanawa people in Brazil

Rainforest Concern protect threatened natural habitats, particularly rainforests and the biodiversity they contain, together with the indigenous people who still depend on them for their survival. To this end they purchase, lease and manage, for protection, threatened native forest with exceptional bio diversity.under threat from encroachment by developers and agri-business the Yawanawa people (a remote indigenous forest community in central Brazil) are seeking help to protect their rainforest environment and traditional lifestyle.

Restore Our Planet has contributed to Rainforest Concern’s work in the area. RFC have formed partnership with 670 members of the Yawanawan people so that they themselves can work effectively as guardians of their 240,000 acres of primary rainforest. RFC are trying to strengthen the local community’s sense of identity encouraging the use of the Yawanawa language in the village schools, by producing books in the language for the first time, and by incorporating Yawanawa history into the curriculum.

In supporting these tribal people, their land ownership and lifestyle RFC will effectively limit any alternative activities in the area such as logging and cattle farming.

Rainforest corridor – North West Ecuador

Rainforest Concern protect threatened natural habitats, particularly rainforests and the biodiversity they contain, together with the indigenous people who still depend on them for their survival. To this end they purchase, lease and manage, for protection, threatened native forest with exceptional bio-diversity.

Restore Our Planet contributed to the Awacachi Corridor project to connect the Awa indigenous forest reserve in north-west Ecuador with the large central Cotacachi-Cayapass ecological forest reserve. In all, Rainforest Concern and its partners, including ‘Fauna and Flora’, in the UK purchased nearly 10,000 hectares of intervening ‘Choco forest’ land, which are now protected by the resident communities and park guards. The corridor is vitally necessary as the forests of the region are under immense pressure.

Over 90% of the forests have already been lost to agriculture in particular to oil palm plantations who directly competed for the purchase of this land corridor, along with logging concerns. These ‘Choco’ forests of Ecuador are also of tremendous biological value. Approximately 6300 species of vascular plant, 800 bird species, 142 mammal species and 253 species of amphibian and reptile are recorded in the area, a large proportion being endemic. Notable species being the green macaw, giant anteater and local jaguar and ocelot.

The Awacaci project tackles this crucial biodiversity conservation from many different angles; and a programme of sustainable income generation is also being established with the Afro-Ecuadorian communities in the area.

Kenyan forest re-generation and re-planting project

The PORINI Trust’s main activities include the planting of indigenous trees in 3 key threatened forest ares of Kenya – Mt Kenya forest, Aberdare forest and Mukogongo forest areas in the Rift Valley. They also aim to protect against further destruction of the remaining forests through mobilising and facilitating communities in co-management activities.

Supporting Porini’s work in the Aberdare and Mukogongo forest areas, Restore Our Planet have funded the replanting of 300 hectares of degraded forest, with provision of over 600,000 seedlings over 5 years. We have also funded the protection of a further 900 hectares of degraded forest each year encouraging the natural regeneration of over a million more trees, and the re-establishment of areas of the forest for the benefit of the marginalised local communities.

The vital services provided by the re-established forest include the rehabilitation of local natural water resources and the stabilisation of the soil that prevent processes of desertification.

Polar Bear monitoring – Canada

Every year many bears are unable to reach their feeding grounds due to the late formation of pack ice creating huge difficulties for themselves and their families.

In Churchill, Manitoba there is a holding facility for polar bears that wander into town in search of food where they can be held apart from humans and later released. For years the dedicated individuals who keep the bears and humans apart have been using tape measures to estimate the bears weight. As the average weight of the female drops due to shorter hunting seasons they produce less cubs whose survival rate has decreased significantly.

Restore Our Planet has funded sophisticated digital scales that can weigh up to 2,000 kilos providing scientists with accurate information crucial to help define future forward action for the species survival. Restore Our Planet has also helped regarding arial surveys which play an important part in helping mother and cubs survive as it is important to understand where they were coming off the ice and in what state of health.

Also new and effective drop-off points have been defined for release of the bears which has dramatically increased their ability to get out on the ice sooner improving their chances of survival and reducing the probability of encounters with mankind.

Safeguarding Priority Orangutan Habitats – Indonesian Borneo

Indonesia has one of the highest rates of tropical forest loss in the world, and illegal logging and forest clearance for palm oil production is rife. The critically endangered Bornean Orangutan has been suffering from habitat loss as a result of conversion of forest to palm oil plantations and other agricultural developments, encroachment, illegal logging and forest fires.

This loss of habitat was aggravated during the last extreme El Nino dry season in 2015 that resulted in extensive loss of forest cover due to devastating forest fires. Increased patrolling in priority habitats to prevent illegal activities, increasing local capacity to deal with outbreaks of fires, restoring forest habitats through re=planting degraded areas and reintroducing rescued Orangutans back to the wild will all help to safeguard Orangutans and their forest habitats. All these activities will be conducted in collaboration with local stakeholders and authorized government agencies.

The project is located in Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesian Borneo. The main project site is the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve which was established in 1998. The other location is Tanjung Puting National Park. Both sites are priority habitats for Orangutan conservation and contain many endangered species including hornbills, eagles, Proboscis monkeys, gibbons and Clouded Leopard. Restore Our Planet has donated to the Orangutan Foundation to support their vital work to protect this area by preventing illegal logging, the arbitrary granting of palm oil concessions and the illegal clearance of land for palm oil by fire – all of which continue to threaten destruction of this precious habitat.

Community protection of Tharaka Forest

This project is a beneficiary of the Gaia/African Biodiversity Network Micro-Projects Fund.

Tharaka forest is a highly biodiverse and critical watershed area for the surrounding communities in Meru, Eastern Province, Kenya. It has been found to contain more than 30 prehistoric sites, however is being threatened due to general degradation as a result of human activity resulting from either extremely low income levels or limited transfer of community knowledge to the younger generation.

The Elders recognise these sites play a vital role for their communities and as all but one are located on river banks it will be easier to grow and maintain trees, while advocacy and lobbying work can be carried out to gain support for tree-planting in larger areas.

The project will involve organisation members, traditional elders and a youth forum. The Forestry and Environment departments will be consulted throughout the process. Activities will include community meetings, purchase and planting of indigenous tree seedlings and maintenance of trees planted.

Native Tree Nurseries, Northern Peru

The Tropical Andes Hotspot is the most biologically diverse on earth with 20,000 endemic plants and 75 endemic mammal species; of which 69 are endangered. Deforestation rates in this area are high, and if a radical change is not made in local resource use there is a very real danger many species will become extinct.

One such is the yellow tailed woolly monkey ( Oreonax flavicauda ), one of the rarest Neotropical primates, critically endangered and listed as one of the 25 most threatened primate species.

The human population of La Esperanza, Northern Peru is suffering from severe poverty. Environmental problems such as localised climate change, impoverishment of soils, landslides and the growing scarcity of natural resources like wood and water are increasingly noticeable. For these reasons a reforestation project would be highly valuable and welcome for the local people as well as the flora and fauna.

The communities of Yambrasbamba and La Esparanza have requested help in realizing reforestation and conservation work on land they own having secured local authority permission. The project aims to promote the conservation of a community run reserve of approx. 2,000 hectares and create community run native tree species nurseries. Reforestation schemes will include enrichment planting of selectively logged forests, creation of multiple use forest buffer zones, enrichment of pastures with legumes and other plants to improve land, attract wildlife and reduce the need for clear cutting of new pastures.

The tree nursery in La Esperanza, established in 2007 with the help of Restore Our Planet has gone through many changes and adjustments however has produced up to 10,000 trees per year. Seedlings and capacity building regarding forestry techniques has been provided to hundreds of local farmers around the nursery and the four surrounding villages.

The nursery has also provided dozens of job opportunities for local people ranging from nursery technicians to caretakers and bag fillers

The vast majority of tree species worked with are native to the area  such as Guaba, Sacha Inchi and Tumbe the only exceptions being fruit trees such as citrus and avocado planted around people`s houses to enrich diets.

The long term success of the programme is evaluated by periodical random visits to the farmers` land to count and measure surviving trees.Many of the trees planted in the first years are already adults and are seeding themselves making collection easier and increases impact of the reforestation work naturally.


Community Forest Conservation and Expansion

This project is a beneficiary of the Gaia/African Biodiversity Network Micro-Projects Fund.

This project will be carried out in Mukono district, in the Buganda kingdom, Uganda. The forest to be expanded is the Kintu forest east of Kampala. It has been in existence for almost 400 years and is made up entirely of natural indigenous tree species.

Uganda`s forest cover has halved in the last 50 years due mainly to the encroachment by the neighbouring communities in search of livelihoods eg charcoal burning, timber and farming and government-supported industrial investment that has seen protected forests such as Butamira, Bugara and Mabira given away to investors.

An opportunity has arisen whereby the Uganda National Forestry and Tree Planting Act (2003) recognises the need for community conservation of natural forests. This means the Buganda kingdom clans can use this act and claim community participation in management of the forest. Activities will include community sensitisation meetings to revive traditional knowledge and planting and maintenance of indigenous tree seedlings to expand the forest.

Restoring Depleted Forests, Limpopo Province

The Mupo ( meaning `wild` ) Foundation has emerged out of the African Biodiversity Network ( ABN ), a network of organisations seeking African solutions to the environment and socio-economic challenges that face the continent.

Limpopo is an area of mixed grassland and trees generally known as bushveld harbouring the Kruger National Park, one of the oldest and largest wildlife reserves in the world. This project primarily covers three areas of critical value for biodiversity and livelihoods, namely: Tshidzivhe, a protected “Holy Forest” within the massive Thathe Vondo plantation; Tshiendeulu, a sacred mountain for all Venda people; Mphaila Tswime a unique mountain where hot springs are still used for ritual and healing.

Proposed activities include;community learning dialogues;tree planting and forest protection activities;training on tree management;tree and seed exchanges for communities.
Mupo expect to achieve community rights to sacred forests recognised and secured, reforestation on community land with the rehabilitation of rivers and reservoirs, protection for endangered forests and the youth linked with elders to ensure long term understanding of natural processes and practical skills.

Restore Our Planet has agreed to fund this project initially for two years from 2008.

To see a film made on the work of Mupo click here (opens a new window)

Restoration of indigenous forests, Manica Province

Set up by a team of experienced development professionals, MICAIA`s goal is local prosperity in a sustainable world. In practise at community level, this means that MICAIA works to enable local people to prosper in strong, diverse local economies and healthy, vibrant communities.

This project will work with communities in two parts of Manica Province, Darue/Zinguena and Chicamba within the Moribane forest. This covers 120 square kms and is a forest reserve established to include the highlands of the Chimanimani Mountains that are shared by Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

There are three areas of proposed activity. Community mobilization, training and learning; establishment of seedling nurseries ultimately using locally sourced indigenous fruit and other trees; tree-planting and seedling management.

The main objective is to restore depleted indigenous forests in Manica Province, providing increased tree cover on family plots and in depleted forest areas, protecting vulnerable forest areas and increasing local knowledge of indigenous trees and their uses.

MELCA – Ethiopia forest re-generation and re-planting

MELCA is a forest re-generation and re-planting project in Ethiopia. The program is pioneering ways of enhancing traditional ecological knowledge and protecting fragile forest and watershed ecosystems through community participation and empowerment.

Melca aim to recuperate 5212 hectares of the Menagesha Suba State Forest – the oldest ‘protected area’ in Africa. This provides habitat for a vibrant wildlife comprising more than 30 different species of mammal, over 180 different species of bird and many plant varieties.

Restore Our Planet have funded the planting of up to 600,000 saplings on over 300 ha of degraded land over five years with funding provided for the protection of a further 600ha of degraded dry Afro-montane forest in order to regenerate over a million more trees and re-establish areas of the forest for the benefit of local biodiversity and the marginalised local communities.

The vital services provided by the re-established forest include the rehabilitation of local natural water resources and the stabilisation of the soil, preventing processes of desertification as well as providing habitat vital for the survival of the rare and endemic local wildlife including the Menilik bushbuk.

Kibera Community Centre and land management

Kibera is a township in Kenya ‘housing’ around a million people. Restore Our Planet helped fund The Kenya Trust to build two new classrooms, a small room and adjacent toilets for The Salvation Army`s school which forms part of the Community Centre in the village.

In addition Restore Our Planet’s grant also financed additional tree and shrub planting around the school that will help restore the surrounding degraded land and help encourage sustainable community resource management.

Sanctuaries for rescued ‘dancing’ bears

Thanks to the efforts of International Animal Rescue, in January 2010 the last of India`s `dancing` bears was rescued and placed in their sanctuary near Bangalore. The owner is to be retrained as a wildlife park keeper. His agreement to abandon bear `dancing` marks the end of a five year campaign in which 600 bears were rescued throughout India.

Sloth bear population numbers are believed to be as little as 18,000 and in decline, they are officially an endangered species. However, in India there were circa 1,000 sloth bears kept in a pitiful condition by Nomadic Kalandar tribesmen, solely for the purposes of ‘dancing’ for tourists.

Restore Our Planet supported IAR’s work to help provide the appropriate habitat for their bear sanctuary at Bannerghatta (near Bangalore, Southern India), and at Agra (near the Taj Mahal in Northern India), which can accomodate up to 200 rescued bears. This large site where over 6,000 new trees are to be planted provides the rescued bears with the environment that they require to live out the rest of their lives in comfort – as most cannot be returned to the wild.

The IAR’s wider work included working with police to prevent poaching, and implementing a scheme where tribesmen were encouraged to surrender their bears for 50,000 rupees (circa. £625) to start up a sustainable business – carpet weaving, bicycle repairs, and welding are some of the successes.

Strengthening traditional Governance in Kiambu

This project is a beneficiary of the Gaia/African Biodiversity Network Micro-Projects Fund.

The project will be implemented in Lara division of Kiambu district in Kenya. The target forest is the Gitoro block of Mt. Kenya forest in Meru, a section of 50 hectares. Trees will be planted on Ameru communal lands in Kamburu, Kagwe, Kagaa and Mtimbei administrative areas.

A key problem is that as elders lose respect from and commitment to the community, so the social structure for communal responsibility and environmental governance is getting weaker. Also local indigenous tree biodiversity has virtually disappeared, thereby threatening the ecological balance of the area, traditional health practices and the food security of the local communities.

However there is an ongoing `back to roots` programme which seeks to uphold inter-generational learning and there remain potent sources of knowledge on indigenous biodiversity and traditional practices. There is also a large amount of reforestable communal land containing valuable sources of water where indigenous tree nurseries can be established. To see a film made on the work of ICE click here (opens a new window).

Black Rhino Breeding and Conservation Programme

Imire Conservation Park is a 10,000 hectare sub tropical, Miombo tract of land 120kms south east of Harare.

It opened in 1972 as a pilot project to allow the reintroduction of wildlife into commercial farming areas.It was an experiment to prove that by taking a holistic approach to intensive agriculture not only could there be economic benefits to the farmer but also that animals indigenous to the area, previously killed and chased out, could become an integral part of commercial farming.

It was so successful that within 10 years the entire 10,000 hectares was fenced and the animals were able to move freely alongside the cultivation and agriculture. Biodiversity benefits were seen immediately including that of trees and grassland. In 2004 Imire merged with National Parks becoming a Conservancy, the owners became trustees, guardians and custodians of the land, animals and conservation.

The Park has become focused on;Reforestation;Endangered species breeding;riverine rehabilitation;sustainable power and fuel production;education and health care.Restore Our Planet has agreed to provide funding aimed specifically at the protection of the Black Rhino

Restoration of the Aberdare Forest Ecosystem

Two-thirds of Kenya is arid, semi arid or desert, leaving one-third to support nearly 30 million people, with cash and food crops, and livestock farming. The same one-third also contains most of the national parks, wildlife habitats, and is also the setting for rapid urban development.

This pressure on land use makes Kenya very susceptible to desertification processes including deforestation and soil erosion. We are helping to fund the Green Belt Movement’s three year pilot programme supporting forest adjacent communities in the Central Province area of Kenya to rehabilitate the degraded Aberdare`s mountain range ecosystem and establish community-based natural resource management systems.

The total project aims to plant 5million trees over 5,000 hectares of degraded forest. Our funding will also help rehabilitate degraded river banks, watershed areas and farmlands in 71 sub-locations with a total population of 389,000. Improved access to food, water, fuel wood, medicinal plants and income from the sale of seedlings will benefit a further 90,000 households in the local area.

Trees of Life

As the birthplace of Vodun ( more commonly known as `Voodoo` ) Benin has retained a strong tradition of cultural relationship with its natural environment. As a result, while there has been extensive development and infrastructure growth in the country, there remain a significant number of sacred forests associated with each village which are believed to be the home of deities and are therefore protected.

The `Trees of Life` project is an integrated programme which aims to support communities in Avrankou Commune to protect and expand existing sacred forests, as well as plant indigenous trees as vital resources for ecosystem stability, sustainable livelihoods and climate change mitigation. Two indigenous tree nurseries will be established to distribute seedlings to 52 villages where planting will take place around schools, churches and traditional voodoo sites.

The 52 villages in Avrankou Commune will be informed, educated and sensitized to the importance and value of forests and trees and each village will train and equip forest protection `clubs`. Locally called `Ecoguarde` clubs these are groups of five to ten carefully chosen women and youth who are committed to act as community environmental guardians.

Regeneration and Reforestation of the Godere Forest

This project is a beneficiary of the Gaia/African Biodiversity Network Micro-Projects Fund.

The Godere forest is in Gambella National Regional State, Ethiopia. It is unique in plant composition and wildlife diversity and provides many vital ecosystem services for the surrounding area. The local community also depends on it for hunting and gathering purposes such as the harvesting of wild honey. However it is facing heavy deforestation due to agricultural expansion, illegal timber felling for construction and firewood and a general lack of commitment from local administration to protect the forest from outside forces.

To prevent further degradation of the forest, community-based legal research needs to be organised covering advocacy strategies and activities. The latter will include building the commitment of the local administration to protect the forest; establishing the foundations for sustainable land use; preventing land expansion for agriculture; re-strengthening traditional/local ways of protecting the forests;restricting access to certain areas to assist regeneration; community tree-planting.

Micro-Projects with the African Biodiversity Network

Over the last five years of its existence, the Micro-Projects Fund has supported community-driven, innovative ideas on rehabilitating degraded ecosystems and protection of critical sources of water, foods, herbs and other livelihood options. This approach has enabled Gaia and the African Biodiversity Network to build a critical mass of like-minded local groups to influence wider changes in their countries.

These organisations are committed to sharing learning and catalysing action across the continent on issues relating to natural resource conservation and sustainable development. The grants provided allow these emerging NGOs to initiate community based reforestation and long-term forest protection initiatives.

Restore Our Planet has provided the necessary funding to the following `networked` organisations in East Africa: Foundation HELP, Vijana Vision and Envirocare in Tanzania; Institute for Culture and Ecology (ICE) and Nkarya Bukaya in Kenya; National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) in Uganda and the Godere Protection Alliance in Ethiopia.

Mara Community Ecological Governance

This project is a beneficiary of the Gaia/African Biodiversity Network Micro-Projects Fund.

The project will be implemented in two localities-Kuruya village in Tarime district and Bwasi village in Musoma district, both in Tanzania. Tree planting will be carried out on Isarawa hills which are located between Kuruya and Irienyi village and Bwasi community forest. Problems and challenges include rapid deforestation due to high population, requirements for fuel wood, shifting cultivation of food crops and cotton, charcoal and brick burning and construction material. There are also tensions between major religions, modern education and customary beliefs and practices.

However the communities have started appreciating the role of culture in conservation and ensuring sustainable management of resources and as a result there is the required goodwill and trust.

Activities will include community dialogues with members of Bwasi and Kuruya villages on forest protection and regeneration, training in ecological governance practices and legal systems and the planting of seedlings on degraded land and on community farmland for agroforestry purposes.

Cambodian Crocodile Conservation Programme

The Cambodian Crocodile Conservation Programme (CCCP) was established in 2000 as an emergency response to the discovery of a small population of crocodile long thought to be extinct in the wild. Traditionally hunted for their skins, the Siamese crocodiles were found during a Fauna & Flora International (FFI) biodiversity survey, and are now listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. The remote Cardamom Mountains of Cambodia are home to the world`s largest remaining population, though small pockets are found in Indonesia and Vietnam as well. Over the past hundred years, habitat destruction and hunting have eliminated 99% of the historical habitat of the Siamese crocodile throughout Southeast Asia, and current threats include the production of hydro-power dams in two of the known habitats. Only an estimated 250 individuals are currently known to exist in the wild.

Since 2000, FFI has worked in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia and local communities to save these crocodiles and their globally important wetlands. By training wildlife officers and community wardens, establishing community-managed sanctuaries, and starting a captive breeding programme, the CCCP is on its way to accomplishing its goal of establishing a population of 1,000 crocodiles in the wild by 2020.

In addition to reinstating the Siamese crocodile population, the CCCP aims to improve the livelihood of the local residents. This includes helping them to find alternative methods of fishing and sources of protein, to reduce net entanglements and maintain the food source for the crocodiles. By hiring local community wardens (initially funded by Restore Our Planet), CCCP works with to engage the community to work toward the shared goal of conserving the crocodile and its habitat together.

The International Gorilla Conservation Programme

The International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) was established in 1991 as a coalition of three international conservation organisations. Its current partnership consists of Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Mountain gorillas, listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, live in the Afromontane forest habitat of Central Africa, spanning the borders of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their numbers are estimated to be around 880 as of September 2016. The aim of the IGCP is to protect the remaining numbers of mountain gorillas and their natural habitat.

The primary threats to the mountain gorillas are habitat destruction, poaching, disease, and civil war and unrest. IGCP’s conservation projects aim to mitigate these threats by collaborating with local communities and key stakeholders to strengthen mechanisms for transboundary migration of the gorillas and increase protection of their borders. Restore Our Planet supported IGCP to protect the Gorilla’s shrinking indigenous habitats within the national parks. By providing the local communities with an alternative source of wood for fuel and construction, as well as promoting the use of energy-saving cooking stoves, they helped to preserve the habitat by reducing pressure on the surrounding forest. Restore also helped support IGCP’s work with communities who are planting fast-growing exotic tree species and native bamboo in carefully managed woodlots – reducing the need for illegal harvesting within the national parks and maintaining critical food sources for the gorillas.

While the forest itself has been boundary fenced to act as a physical barrier to illegal encroachment, successfully reducing human-wildlife conflict, the IGCP projects also encourage sustainability through the establishment of community-based livelihood strategies. Amongst these are enterprises like curios-making and beekeeping. The most recent research, conducted in 2010, shows an annual growth rate of 3.7% in response to these efforts. IGCP, along with its partners, hope to continue with these strategies in order to ensure the viability and longevity of the mountain gorilla species.

Community Resource Management, Ngasini-Mawala

This project is a beneficiary of the Gaia/African Biodiversity Network Micro-Projects Fund.

Ngasini and Mawala forests are near Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Due to agricultural expansion such as pig-breeding and banana cultivation, illegal collection of firewood and the erosion of traditional beliefs and practices these forests have become severely degraded.

The National Forest Policy while recognising the existence of local forests reserves managed by local authorities also designates village reserves to be managed by the communities. These will be demarcated on the ground, management objectives defined and multi-purpose forest management plans prepared, covering all different uses of forests. This allows villages to control the rate of environmental degradation.

Granted appropriate user rights and security of tenure as incentives for sustainable forest management, local communities are likely to participate actively in the conservation of their forest resources. This project will establish new tree nurseries and organise appropriate community training regarding forests and water.

Conservation of the Livingstone’s Fruit Bat

Livingstone’s fruit bat (Pteropus livingstonii), one of the world’s largest megachiropterans, is only found on two islands (Moheli and Anjouan), in the Union of the Comoros. Increased land needs for subsistence agriculture and use of wood for fuel and construction endanger the species’ habitat. These threats are exacerbated by high rural poverty and rapid population growth. The wild bat population is estimated at around 1,200 individuals, listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered.

The project will ensure the long-term survival of the species by working closely with Dahari a local NGO and by the management of a coordinated captive breeding programme. We have developed local capacity and introducing methods and procedures for bat monitoring and habitat protection. In parallel with this work in the field we have established and currently manage the studbook for an international breeding programme for the species. At Jersey zoo we have a colony of 52 bats and have raised 7 pups so far this year.

Community Woodland Network

Following the phenomenal success of The Woodland Trust’s ‘Woods on your Doorstep’ project, the Trust is placing an increasing emphasis on inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to learn about the importance and benefits of trees, and providing opportunities for people to enjoy woodlands and to play an active part in planting and caring for them.

One immediate result from the ‘Woods on your Doorstep’ project was an increase in calls to the Trust for help in acquiring, planning and managing local community woods. The response was to set up the Community Woodland Network. Restore Our Planet has helped fund the three year development phase of the project, enabling the Woodland trust to test and implement mechanisms through which they can provide: Outreach to woodland management groups; advice and guidance on aspects of ecology; woodland management; health and safety and technical support; access to training, equipment and group insurance; a forum to encourage groups to share experiences and give mutual support; and legal frameworks for groups wishing to operate leasehold or management agreements.

Over 260 local woodland management groups from across England and Wales are now actively involved in the Network. The helpline responds to 40-50 phone calls, emails and letters each month and circulates a quarterly newsletter to keep groups up to date on issues and events. The website is supplemented by mini-websites promoting individual groups and mutual support between groups is growing.

Piddington Wood habitat restoration

Very little is left of Oxfordshire`s woodland, and what remains is mainly fragmented and surrounded by intensively farmed land. Woodland plants and animals are struggling to survive in these small isolated woods.

Restore helped fund the doubling of the size of Piddington Wood a remnant of the ancient hunting forest of Bernwood by buying another 21 acres of adjoining woodland and fields. This has helped buffer and protect the ancient wood from the effects of neighbouring intensive agriculture. The whole site is now being managed primarily for the benefit of butterflies, especially the brown hairstreak which is now very rare.

Maintaining forest edge habitats for the butterflies is attracting further species and there is growing interest in the bats that are being attracted to the site, with Local volunteers now erecting and monitoring bat boxes.

Houndtor and Wray ancient broadleaf woodland restoration

Restore Our Planet contributed to the Trust’s acquisition of Houndtor and Wray, securing the future of a vital component of an area of international conservation importance on the south-eastern side of Dartmoor National Park.

Once purchased work began to restore these coniferised ancient woods to native broadleaf species, in order to reconstitute a substantial area of ancient woodland and protect and develop the natural heritage and biodiversity of the wider area, known as the Bovey Valley Woods. Houndtor (65acres) forms part of a woodland area now covering 720 acres and Wray (56acres) forms part of a contiguous area now covering 700 acres.

The project also had specific biodiversity benefits. The now protected rivers and brooks provide micro-climates for bryophytes, ferns and lichens; archaeological features provide niche habitats for fungi and lichens. The woods provide homes for a wide range of wildlife including rare fritillary butterflies, dormice and wood ants believed to be present in both the acquired woods.

Woodland Creation in The Vale of Glamorgan

The UK’s ancient forests are irreplaceable and much of what remains is in vulnerable fragments. Many of the species that inhabit ancient woodland are relatively immobile and are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Restore Our Planet has helped support the linking and buffering of some very special ancient woodland sites: In The Casehill Wood extension, a few miles to the west of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan Restore Our Planet helped fund the purchase of 21 hectares of pasture in order to plant 50,000 trees (all of native stock) to link and buffer two separate areas of semi-natural ancient woodland – already owned by the Woodland Trust: Pen-y-Turnpike and Cwm Gorge woods.

This is providing exceptional nature conservation value with the site now under the Trust’s management plan, which is significantly increasing and enhancing local biodiversity value by creating and maintaining the area as a continuous woodland complex of over 8 hectares.

Woods on your doorstep

‘Woods on your Doorstep’ – the Woodland Trust’s millennium project – enabled 250 local communities across the UK to design and plant new, local and accessible woods that now provide much loved amenities for local people and are benefiting the landscape and wildlife.

Restore Our Planet stepped in to provide crucial funding to help three local communities in Devon, Greater Manchester and Sheffield, which were struggling to raise the funding they needed: Tramlines Wood, Okehampton, Devon – The small size of the planting at Tramlines Wood belies its importance. Just one acre of wet meadowland, an increasingly rare habitat, has been planted with scattered willows, leaving plenty of open space to encourage the widest possible range of wild flowers to colonise and thrive.

This new plantation lies between and now protects and links a range of distinctive habitats along the river valley, including ancient woodland. Local people are intrigued and pleased by the number of plant and animal species now colonising the site, including increasing numbers of bats which hunt along the river and meadow. A new footbridge has been erected to provide easy access to local playing fields and to the local college and youth hostel, which is encouraging young people to visit the site and explore along the river. Springfield Copse, Greater Manchester Local people have planted 700 native trees, including oak, ash, birch, hazel, rowan and crab apple, on just over half this site. They are thriving and a rich mosaic of habitats is developing around the trees and along the streams and wet flushes which are a feature of the site.

Springfield Copse is situated close to Stockport and its growing population. Local people describe the site as a wonderful tranquil oasis and particularly value the experience of being part of such an interesting restoration project. Wantley Dragon Wood was designed and planted as a 16 acre extension to Bitholmes Wood, an ancient woodland in Sheffield that was already owned by the Woodland Trust.

Adjoining Firth Wood has since been added to the landholding, making Wantley Dragon Wood a vital part of a site that now covers about 100 acres in total. Natural regeneration from Bitholmes Wood has been supplemented by local people planting oak, ash, birch, cherry, rowan and field maple. The new plantation has quickly become established and is now blending well with the pr-existing woodland.

The size of the entire site is a great incentive to people to visit it and local people are proud of the part they continue to play in the protection of the area.

Cloatley Manor habitat restoration

Cloatley Manor is a large parcel of neutral grassland in the Braydon Forest near Malmesbury.

Restore Our Planet helped fund The Wltshire Wildlife Trust to seize the opportunity to acquire 77 acres of adjacent land consisting of 8 fields and a small copse. 3 fields have been notified as SSSI with a further two containing good quality vegetation. Species present include betony, black knapweed, meadow sweet, saw-wort and pepper saxifrage. Each field is surrounded by tall and species rich hedgerows which are themselves bordered by deep ditches and water courses.

Sympathetic management regimes now serve to preserve and restore the landscape and the biodiversity across the site

Langford Fisheries habitat protection

Langford Fisheries is an area of 13 hectares at Steeple Langford near Salisbury, consisting half a mile of exceptional double bank chalk river, which enjoys SSSI status; 20 acres of flooded gravel pits holding an outstanding array of resident and migrant birds; and 13 acres of dry land, including woodland and pasture.

The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust proposed to acquire the land to safeguard the river and manage it as a nature reserve.

Restore Our Planet contributed a grant to the Trust’s acquisition fund as we felt it was crucial that this site be acquired as the alternatives include an organised shoot targeting the existing birds or high intensity fishery, which would have been hugely detrimental to the ecological integrity of this important site.

Blakehill airfield habitat restoration

In 2000 the 235 hectare former Blakehill airfield near Cricklade in Wiltshire became the site of the UK’s largest restoration of an ancient wildflower meadow, meeting 50% of the government’s target for restoring ancient meadows to 2010. Intensified agriculture has resulted in the loss of 97% of UK hay meadows in the last 50 years.

The restoration of Blakehill will bring back wildflowers such as knapweed, devil’s-bit scabious and saw-wort; butterflies including meadow brown, white letter hairstreak and orange tip; and birds such as skylark and curlews. The scrub woodlands at the edge of the fields will also attract nightingales, barn owls and reed buntings.

Funding provided by Restore Our Planet purchased and erected bat and owl boxes in a building to the north-east of the site, near suitable hedgerows and boundaries, and in an old underground bunker on the site. Hedgerow restoration was also undertaken in order to create a vital corridor for wildlife.

Water Vole Conservation – London wetlands Centre Barnes

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust was founded in 1946 by Sir Peter Scott, whose aim was ‘to establish a centre for the scientific study, public display, and conservation of the wildfowl of the world’.

Today they are a world leader for the protection of swans, geese, ducks and flamingos and work to save and restore ponds, lakes, rivers and other wetlands with associated wildlife and plants. Over the last century, in the UK alone, half of our wetlands have been lost; and globally the loss of wetlands is accelerating as populations increase and competition for resources soar.

WWT have recently begun the Water Vole Conservation Project to introduce conservation areas to promote the recovery of water vole populations that current estimates suggest has declined by over 94% in the last century. This due predominantly to destruction and pollution of habitat. To achieve their recovery it is important that WWT: manage and restore habitat through the establishment of appropriate emergent vegetation – including reeds, yellow flag and sedges;diversify the water course structures and create pools where appropriate. To this end a 3 year management program has been initiated at the London Wetlands Centre, Barnes.

Restore Our Planet is funding this project, including the purchase of specialist tools and equipment vital to the habitat restoration and management, as well as for the essential pest control and monitoring activity.

Dundreggan Conservation Estate – Caledonian Forest restoration

Trees for Life is an award winning charity working to restore the native Caledonian Forest to its former range in the Highlands of Scotland. Since 1989, it has planted over 1.3 million trees and has facilitated the natural regeneration of ancient forest remnants in Glen Affric and at other sites to the west of Inverness and Loch Ness. The charity also advocates the reintroduction of the missing species of wildlife that formerly lived in the forest, as they are essential for the reestablishment of a balanced, self-sustaining ecosystem.

In 2008 Trees for Life purchased the 4,000 hectare Dundreggan Estate in Glenmoriston, which is notable for its wide range of woodland and other habitats. It contains an outstanding area of large junipers, what is possibly the most extensive population of dwarf birch in Scotland and significant populations of important species such as black grouse and wood ants. Restore Our Planet contributed some funding towards the purchase and the development of the first 5 year management plan for the estate.

Dundreggan Conservation Estate is now Trees for Life’s flagship restoration project, with over 335,000 native trees planted there since its purchase. The site also includes a native tree nursery growing 60,000 trees annually, focusing on scarcer species such as aspen and montane willows. Ongoing biodiversity surveys have led to the discovery of 16 species (mostly invertebrates) at Dundreggan that are not known anywhere else in the UK, thereby emphasising the significance of the estate for biological diversity.

Aspen Project

Trees for Life is an award winning charity working to restore the native Caledonian Forest to its former range in the Highlands of Scotland. Since 1989, it has planted over 1.3 million trees and has facilitated the natural regeneration of ancient forest remnants in Glen Affric and at other sites to the west of Inverness and Loch Ness. The charity also advocates the reintroduction of the missing species of wildlife that formerly lived in the forest, as they are essential for the reestablishment of a balanced, self-sustaining ecosystem.

Aspen is a key species within the Caledonian Forest, supporting a unique community of insects, fungi, mosses and lichens, some of which are rare and endangered. However, because aspen rarely flowers and almost never produces seeds, and is also highly palatable to deer, it has been reduced to small, isolated groups of trees. In 1991 Trees for Life launched a project to help restore aspen in the Highlands, focused on surveying and mapping the existing aspen stands, protecting selected groups of trees and propagating new aspens, with Restore Our Planet contributing funding towards the expansion of this work.

Trees for Life is now the largest producer in the Highlands of aspens by propagation from root cuttings, and has also achieved success with seed production in nursery conditions. The overall strategy is to reestablish aspen in the forest, linking up the isolated stands and returning the species to areas where it has disappeared, as well as creating improved habitat for beavers, which rely on aspen as winter food.

Glen Affric – Caledonian Forest restoration

Trees for Life is an award winning charity working to restore the native Caledonian Forest to its former range in the Highlands of Scotland. Since 1989, it has planted over 1.3 million trees and has facilitated the natural regeneration of ancient forest remnants in Glen Affric and at other sites to the west of Inverness and Loch Ness. The charity also advocates the reintroduction of the missing species of wildlife that formerly lived in the forest, as they are essential for the reestablishment of a balanced, self-sustaining ecosystem.

Much of the charity’s work has been carried out in partnership with Forest Enterprise Scotland in the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve, which contains one of the best fragments of the old Caledonian Forest. However, like many of the remnants, much of the woodland in Glen Affric consists of Scots pine, which is a keystone species in the ecosystem and the largest and longest-lived tree there. The native broadleaved trees are under-represented in the forest, as they were selectively removed for their timber and their seedlings are more palatable to deer, so they have not recovered.

To help address this, Trees for Life launched a project with grant aid from Restore Our Planet to plant a range of native broadleaf species in suitable areas in Glen Affric. Trees which had become scarce, such as oak, hazel, aspen, goat willow, bird cherry, holly, juniper and dwarf birch have been selectively planted in suitable sites, while naturally regenerating seedlings of oak and hazel have been individually protected with tree guards to enable them to grow.

Allt Na Muic Woodland Restoration Project

Trees for Life is an award winning charity working to restore the native Caledonian Forest to its former range in the Highlands of Scotland. Since 1989, it has planted over 1.3 million trees and has facilitated the natural regeneration of ancient forest remnants in Glen Affric and at other sites to the west of Inverness and Loch Ness. The charity also advocates the reintroduction of the missing species of wildlife that formerly lived in the forest, as they are essential for the reestablishment of a balanced, self-sustaining ecosystem.

A key step in restoring the forest is to re-connect some of the woodland fragments that are isolated from each other in adjacent glens, to create a larger extent of contiguous forest. The Allt Na Muic watercourse in Glenmoriston offers one such opportunity, to re-establish a native woodland corridor, stretching from there northwards over the watershed divide to Glen Affric. Trees for Life’s Allt Na Muic Woodland Restoration Project has been supported by Restore Our Planet, and consists of several fenced exclosures for both natural regeneration of montane scrub on the higher ground and planting native trees lower down the watercourse.
Dwarf birch, a scarce montane species in Scotland, is recovering naturally inside one of the exclosures, and in the others alder, aspen, downy birch, eared willow, juniper, rowan and Scots pine have been planted by Trees for Life volunteers.

The restoration of the streamside forest will also benefit the freshwater pearl mussels (a UK priority species of conservation) that live in the River Moriston, which the Allt Na Muic flows into.

Bryn Marsh and Ince Moss Restoration Project

Bryn Marsh and Ince Moss SSSI is a 20.5 hectare mosaic of reedbed, mossland, open water and associated wetlands. The site makes up a significant part of Wigan Flashes, a 240 hectare reserve formed by mining subsidence owned by Wigan Council.

The reserve has been managed by Lancashire W. T. since 1999 in partnership with the landowners, RSPB and Natural England. This area contained a number of reedbeds of reasonable quality however no management occurred. Whilst there were significant areas of wet reedbed, areas had dried out allowing willow scrub encroachment.

Lowering works carried out elsewhere on the reserve have successfully colonised with reed supporting Bitterns. Reedbed works proposed for Bryn Marsh and Ince Moss would also create pools and ditches enabling the movement of water and as a result, fish.

It is believed the proposed works will play a key role in creating habitat links which will enable the wetland to develop as a cohesive system significantly improving wildlife potential. A number of BAP species will benefit including Bittern, Reed Bunting, Grasshopper Warbler, Lapwing and Water Vole.

Holiday Moss-Purchase and Restoration Project

Funding from Restore Our Planet has been used to purchase Holiday Moss, Rainford near St Helens, a 3 hectare heavily degraded lowland raised bog ( mossland ) site. Mosslands are England`s most endangered habitat which have suffered a 99% decrease in Merseyside since the late 1800`s. Holiday Moss represents 15% of this precious remaining mossland habitat in Merseyside.

It supports a population of Brown Hare, a priority Biodiversity Action Plan species. It is also valuable as one of only two sites in Merseyside where Bog Myrtle thrives.
The site has suffered from considerable neglect due to drainage,scrub invasion, peat extraction and mining. Thankfully due to the purchase of the site, finalised in 2009, this trend of neglect has now been reversed by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. The Trust`s current priority is to restore Holiday Moss to its former glory creating a haven for many unusual and rare plant and animal species and enhancing biodiversity in the North west.

The peat dominated soil, a key factor of mossland habitat, sequesters thousands of tonnes of carbon which was previously being released as the site dried out and was becoming degraded. Restoration will prevent any further loss and over time the site will sequester more carbon for the benefit of everyone.

Northwest Lowlands Water Vole Project

As Kenneth Grahame once wrote with respect to the river in The Wind in the Willows ` By it and with it and on it and in it…` which precisely sums up the lifestyle of our native Water Voles.
Sadly in decline, England`s most endangered mammal and a Biodiversity Action Plan priority species is at the centre of a good news story in the north west.
When the Wildlife Trust began management of the Wigan Flashes in 1999 there was no evidence of Water Voles, however, they began to colonise the site in 2002 and now there is a thriving population. To capitalise on this positive situation six ponds and 1km of ditches over an area of 5 hectares have been dug at Scotman`s and Ochre Flash, with further ponds and ditches over seven hectares at Hawkley Hall Flash.

Providing additional habitats will encourage movement along wildlife corridors and increase the chance of continuing to build up significant populations.

Linked to the Mossland Restoration Project in Lancashire already supported by Restore Our Planet this will extend across the north west into Cheshire and Cumbria.

Restore Our Planet has agreed to fund habitat restoration work with the aim of providing connectivity between rural and urban habitats allowing Water Voles to colonise larger areas thereby greatly increasing the chances of their long-term survival.

Mossland Restoration Project

Mosslands are one of Europe rarest and most threatened habitats. Since c.1850 the area of mossland in the UK has fallen 94% to only 6000 hectares. In England only 500 hectares now remain. Prior to this decline the Northwest of England supported a large proportion of the entire UK mossland though much of the resource has now been lost through conversion to high grade agricultural land or extraction for the horticultural industry.

The Mossland Rescue program aims to halt the massive loss within the region initially concentrating on 5 sites restoring and enhancing 98ha of mossland and associated habitat around Lancashire, Bolton and Greater Manchester. The water vole is one of many species for whom mosslands provide vital habitat.

Restore’s funding was directed at the creation and protection of these water vole habitats through installing dams to increase water levels. The donation also funded some species monitoring activity in the area.

Community Organic Gardens – Blackburn

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been involved in encouraging and supporting communities to grow their own food since 1997. Empowering communities to reclaim derelict land and unused allotments to grow their own organic food. Groups promote sustainable and healthy living amongst both young and old by eating organic fruit and veg, composting and getting fresh air and exercise.

The idea of community allotments took off following a successful pilot in Halliwell in 1997 and by 2004 the Lancashire Wildlife Trust was supporting 14 active projects involving at least 150 volunteers a week in Bolton, Wigan, Salford, Blackburn and Burnley. The long term viability of the projects depends on building capacity within the community groups and volunteer networks so that they can become fully constituted and organisationally self-standing.

Restore’s funding helped achieve this in the Blackburn area by purchasing crucial equipment including tools, access to information and allotment rental.

Community Organic Gardens – Bolton

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been involved in encouraging and supporting communities to grow their own food since 1997. Empowering communities to reclaim derelict land and unused allotments to grow their own organic food. Groups promote sustainable and healthy living amongst both young and old by eating organic fruit and veg, composting and getting fresh air and exercise.

The idea of community allotments took off following a successful pilot in Halliwell in 1997 and by 2004 the Lancashire Wildlife Trust was supporting 14 active projects involving at least 150 volunteers a week in Bolton, Wigan, Salford, Blackburn and Burnley. The long term viability of the projects depends on building capacity within the community groups and volunteer networks so that they can become fully constituted and organisationally self-standing.

Restore’s funding helped achieve this in the Bolton area by purchasing crucial equipment including tools, access to information and allotment rental.

Ebernoe Common habitat protection

One of 30 Sussex Wildlife Trust nature reserves, Ebernoe Common is a National Nature Reserve just north of Petworth in West Sussex. The 76 hectare site comprises ancient woodland with glades, ponds and architectural remains, which support an amazing and diverse variety of fauna and flora.

It is home to 13 of the 16 species of bat which occur in the UK, including the rare Bechstein’s and barbastelle bats. In 2002 Restore Our Planet provided a grant to Sussex Wildlife Trust to help purchase redundant farmland adjacent to Ebernoe Common. This redundant farmland will be managed with minimum intervention allowing natural regeneration of woodland areas. These will develop over time into pasture woodland to be managed by the reintroduction of grazing.

This is a long-term project and in time the more newly acquired land will develop the same biodiversity as the ancient woodland.

Malling Down Habitat protection

Only 3-5% of the South Downs remains in a species-rich state. Malling Down Nature Reserve is a 38.1 hectare reserve forming part of the Lewes Downs SAC/SSSI, situated just East of Lewes. It is one of the jewels in the crown of The South Downs.

In December 2001 Restore Our Planet provided match funding which has enabled the purchase of 98 acres of adjacent land, doubling the size of the reserve. The redundant farmland that was purchased, some of which had been in set-aside for 10 years, has benefited greatly from management by grazing. This has resulted in seeds from the downland plants starting to populate the newer areas and increasing the biodiversity.

In November 2002 a further donation was made, which has assisted the Trust in appointing a Conservation Grazing Officer to manage the Trust’s flock of sheep.

Filsham Bittern project

The SSSI – Filsham reed-bed is the largest reed bed in Sussex, tucked away in the Combe Haven valley between Bexhill and Hastings. It is a large patchwork of reed-bed, sedge swamp, rushes and open water.

The valley is an important migration route for birds, and the reedbed is a crucial stopping off point for thousands of swallows and warblers, and much rarer species such as marsh harrier and bittern. Unusual plants such as frogbit, water violet and the insectivorous bladderwort flourish wherever enough light reaches the water surface.

In the year 2000 Restore Our Planet contributed match funding in order to help finance phase 2 of an ambitious project to improve the water management of the site.

Stanton Grasslands Project

Restore contributed to the acquisition by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust of 90 acres of high quality grassland habitat in north-east Staffordshire. Unimproved grassland is a nationally declining habitat and has been recognised as being of great importance in both national and local Bio-diversity Action Plans. Thorswood, the land for sale, represented a significant landholding within the Stanton Grassland project area.

It demonstrates a number of habitat types and is almost unique in Staffordshire, supporting acidic, neutral, and calcareous grassland within the same site. Although a significant area of the land was listed as a Grade 1 site, it did not receive statutory protection and in the hands of other landowners could have been agriculturally improved and the diverse grassland community lost forever.

The Organic Farm Woodland project

The UK has lost 50% of its ancient woodland since the 1930’s. Without woodlands flora and fauna that benefit from these diverse habitats become threatened. Agriculture has a crucial part to play in the restoration of our woodland habitats. For most of its history agriculture was intertwined with forestry but over the last 300 years they separated and intensified.

Conventional agriculture has contributed to the deforestation of the land and many foresters have replaced high density broadleaf trees with low conservation value conifers. Organic farming is now recognised as the leading environmental solution for a living working countryside.

The Organic Farm Woodland Project is designed to help protect and preserve woodland habitats by researching and developing new guidelines to enable farmers to integrate woodland management as part of their whole-farm system.

Restore Our Planet have contributed to the overall development of this excellent project.

Tree Planting in the South West

The Silvanus Trust exists to develop the viable and sustainable management of small woodlands in the South West of England for the benefit of local communities, the beauty of the landscape and the wildlife.

With their guidance Restore Our Planet have funded the planting of more than 4,000 indigenous broadleaf trees in the area.

Restoring and managing Riparian Woodlands

Scottish Native Woods are an organisation pioneering working with local people to restore native woodlands in Scotland. Scotland’s native woodlands have been reduced from covering about 75%, to around 2% of land area.

These woodlands are a rich wildlife habitat, and support many threatened species, such as red squirrel, black grouse and pearl bordered fritillary butterfly. In all 127 woods involving over 10,000 acres are now being restored by the organisation.

Restore Our Planet have supported their work on Riparian woodlands (those growing alongside rivers, burns and lochs). Their value for nature conservation and landscape are exceptional; most importantly they are often the only native woodands remaining in upland landscapes and therefore the last refuge for regional woodland species. They play a crucial role in helping maintain the health and productivity of lochs and burns; they protect river banks control erosion, capture and recycle mineral nutrients and increase biodiversity

Save our Squirrels

The Save our Squirrels project is the largest single species conservation initiative in the UK. The aim of the project is to deliver the North of England Red Alert Squirrel Strategy by protecting and conserving the red squirrel in the counties of Northumberland, Cumbria and Lancashire.

This strategy builds on comprehensive squirrel ecology and distribution research undertaken by Dr. Peter Lurz, at the University of Newcastle, and Professor John Gurnell, at the University of London. This research identified sixteen key reserve areas where the adoption of careful habitat management will ensure the continued presence of red squirrels over the medium to long-term.

Save our Squirrels has three main aims: To raise the profile and plight of the red squirrel. To undertake habitat management and squirrel conservation activities with landowners and managers in the sixteen reserves and surrounding areas. To secure the long-term sustainability of red squirrel conservation.

Restore Our Planet has provided funding to provide traps and equipment for local volunteer groups to help control the number of grey squirrels threatening the red squirrel through competition for food and habitat and probably through transmission of the squirrelpox virus. Since the original grant, several new voluntary groups have formed in Northumbria as well as the `umbrella organisation` Northern Red Squirrels ( NRS ).

Restore Our Planet has therefore agreed additional funding to not only provide traps and equipment but also training workshops to help the planning and coordination of grey squirrel control in these new areas which now includes Cumbria.

Hedgerow protection

Hedgerows are a popular and attractive feature of many localities. Well-managed, they are vital wildlife habitats. For birds, they provide nesting sites in spring and summer insect food throughout the year, as well as seeds and berries in late summer and autumn.
Often, hedgerows are cut or flailed at the wrong time of year, and/or flailed excessively. Support from Restore Our Planet enabled the RSPB to mobilise 2,000 letter writers. They were provided with background information and encouraged to write to local authorities to call for better practice in hedgerow management.

House sparrows in schools

The house sparrow – one of our commonest and most familiar birds – has declined by two thirds since 1970.

The ‘House Sparrows in Schools Project’ supported by Restore Our Planet had four main aims: To raise awareness in schools of the importance of house sparrow populations and make links to the wider issues of decline in familiar countryside birds; to involve children in a practical conservation project in school grounds; to deliver practical conservation measures to sustain house sparrow populations; and to pilot a summer House Sparrow breeding survey.

50 primary schools across East Anglia were provided with nest boxes, and free food for 3 years. They were also provided with I’m in Trouble information packs and a fun assembly presentation. Restore fully funded the nest boxes, bird tables and school mailing.

Tree Sparrow Recovery Project

The tree sparrow is one of the farmland bird species which has showed the most severe declines. According to data from the common birds census collected by the British Trust for Ornithology, this species saw a 90% decline in the UK since 1970, though numbers have begun rising in recent years.

While we work with farmers to provide more food and nesting habitats naturally in the wider countryside, there is evidence to suggest that feeding and the provision of nestboxes can help to sustain tree sparrow populations. To this end, Restore Our Planet supported the RSPB’s ‘Tree Sparrow Recovery Project’ in East Anglia to provide nest boxes and supplementary feeding for tree sparrows across fifteen sites to help sparrow populations across the region.

The Million Ponds Project

Freshwater Habitats Trust is the national charity dedicated to protecting freshwater life for everyone to enjoy. They carry out research, promote practical action, give advice and lobby policy makers to ensure that freshwater wildlife and habitats have a secure future.

The Million Ponds Project initiative aims to reverse a century of loss and decline in Britain`s ponds, so that once again we have a million ponds in the British countryside. The project will bring clean water back to many landscapes and create vital new wildlife habitats. The first 4 years of the project ran from 2008-2012 and within this time funded new ponds and pond complexes for threatened freshwater plants and animals, provided technical and on the ground support, engaged with and trained a range of stakeholders and raised the profile of ponds and their value in the media and with policy makers across England and Wales.

Restore Our Planet provided support for the creation of ponds for BAP species by providing match funding for 53 ponds at 13 sites in Wales. The ponds were specifically designed for species including Water Vole, Otter, Common Toad, Great Crested Newt, protected bats and rare plants like Pillwort and Three-lobed Crowfoot.

Swangey Fen SSS

Swangey Fen is an ancient wet woodland site of special scientific Interest at Attleborough, Norfolk on the banks of the river Thet, an area regularly visited by Otters. The Otter Trust have restored and maintained this site. Over the years areas of open fen have been colonised by Alder, Ash, Birch, and Sallow, blocking the light and drying out the peat.

The aim of the management program is to restore the open fen conditions from over 100 years ago, when peat was dug and wood removed to provide fuel for the poor of the area, reed was cut to provide animal bedding, and in the resultant wet, low nutrient peat and good light rushes, orchids, and many different sedges thrived. Shallow ponds typical of those left by ancient peat digging, are dug to further increase biodiversity.

The wealth of other wildlife especially birds, plants and invertebrates includes both roe and red deer. In order to maintain the 47 acre site the fen areas need to be mown and raked at least once every two years.

Restore Our Planet funded the purchase of a rotary mower and brushcutters and power-rake to help the Otter Trust in this work.

The Blue Butterfly Scheme

Restore Our Planet has supported this innovative project which was devised to address the alarming decline of wildflower grassland in the UK – a 97% loss since 1937 – by working with Local Authorities to manage, restore and create wildflower meadows across the County and beyond.

Managed sympathetically grasslands can be composed of a diverse range of attractive wildflowers that support a wealth of wildlife. However, many grassland areas are intensively managed ‘green deserts’, containing little value for wildlife.

The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has been instrumental in promoting better management of grassland, to local authorities, private landowners and businesses with the aim of making a significant contribution to UK biodiversity.

Natural Connections – Education & Community work in Mansfield

Mansfield District has a number of rare habitat types of international importance. However, a majority of local people are unaware of their existence and in fact have a negative opinion of the local natural environment.

Restore Our Planet has helped fund this project, which aims to co-ordinate local groups, and most importantly schools, to change this perception, encourage local people to feel more positive about their local environment and encourage their involvement in the management of Local Nature Reserves (LNRs).

Working with individuals, community groups and schools the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s project officer has co-ordinated the establishment of volunteer groups, organised guided walks, open days and other events to engage local people in the management and enjoyment of their local environment.

Natural Connections Mansfield has been one of the success stories for nature conservation in the County. Not only by providing a sustainable infrastructure for the preservation of valuable areas through the designation and protection of local green spaces, but also the fact that the project has been able to encourage so many people to take part in the protection of their local environment.

Besthorpe Heron Colony

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have been studying grey heron chicks at Besthorpe Nature Reserve, since 1996. From the outset it was apparent that there was a problem at the heronry, and during the checking of nests dead and sick chicks with multiple fractures of the leg and wing bones were regularly found.

Restore funded the trust to send these corpses to the Institute of Zoology for post-mortem examination in order to establish possible causes of the problem. The dead grey heron chicks were found to be suffering with metabolic bone disease (rickets). Blood samples from the chicks found that the affected grey herons had high levels of Polychlorinated Biphenyls PCB’s (controlled industrial waste products) which are probably the cause of the deformities.

Wittenham Wetlands Project

The Northmoor Trust has monitored amphibian populations for over twenty years and has a unique body of knowledge. The project will look to create a landscape exceptionally rich in amphibians and other wetland species.

It will be based around an extremely important existing site for herptiles and odonata- the Wittenham Clumps SAC and SSSI. Existing wetland habitat will be restored and enhanced and will diversify by creating new wetland habitat including ponds wet woodland and wetland scrapes in the immediately surrounding area. Over a wider landscape it will look to create new populations of amphibian species by appropriate habitat management.

The project will directly benefit two UK BAP priority habitats, ponds and wet woodland and two species, the Great Crested Newt and the Common Toad. It will indirectly benefit three priority species of bats including Noctule and Brown long-eared, five birds including Linnet and Reed Bunting and a number of invertebrates.

The project is located within one of a suite of priority areas identified by the Oxfordshire Nature Conservancy Forum ( ONCF ) for biodiversity work at a landscape scale and will therefore form part of a wider vision to create a network of biodiversity hotspots along the Thames Valley.

Sinodun Hills Landscape Biodiversity Project

The Sinodun Hills Project uses a landscape approach to conservation, by taking an existing site of high conservation value, the Wittenham Clumps, north east of Didcot, and extending semi-natural habitats outwards from it into the surrounding working landscape.

The project will restore and recreate 37 hectares of wildlife-rich lowland meadow.This will be achieved through grazing with native hardy breeds of cattle and sheep,implementing suitable hay-cutting regimes, turf removal and reseeding, broadcasting wildflower seed, green hay spreading and plug planting.

By creating this area of species rich neutral grassland, this project will make a direct and appreciable contribution to the recovery of this priority habitat. It will also guarantee benefits to BAP priority species present on site,such as the skylark, pipistrelle bat and hornet robber fly.

Restore Our Planet has provided Third Party Funding to ensure this project is able to proceed.

Paradise Wood

The Earth Trust aims to promote and inspire wildlife and countryside conservation in Oxfordshire and beyond.Their key project objectives are to: develop and build on the national leadership in walnut and oak species, develop their research and forestry demonstration functions, to demonstrate the national biodiversity benefits of managing broadleaved plantations for timber production; promote the importance of the forestry industry within a sustainable countryside.

To this end they purchased 55 hectares of land at College Farm in order to establish a new woodland and centre for forestry research called Paradise Wood. The wood is situated on a flat former Floodplain in Oxfordshire. The first trees were planted in the winter of 1992 and by the end of 2000 42,000 trees had been planted across 21ha the completed woodland will cover 45-50 hectares and will comprise 75% broadleaves, 10% conifers, 5% coppice and 10% open ground.In 2001 Restore provided a specialist tractor to help manage Paradise Wood and funding to produce publicity material for the project.

Restore funded the purchase of a new Holland TC27D Tractor which has significantly aided the work of the Earth Trust across its 300 hectare estate. It’s compact size and maneuverability enables a range of important tasks to be carried out from the transport of livestock using a trailer or link box through to the important task of mowing between trees in the Trust’s research wood and newly planted Trafalgar Wood site.

Hunters Moon Tree Nursery

Launched thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund`s Breathing Places programme and as part of the Dartington Estate Landscape project, this exciting tree nursery project started in summer 2008. The project has four strands – tree growing, biodiversity, community and education – all feeding into the main aim of Moor Trees, the restoration of native UK woodland.

Restore Our Planet has agreed to help fund the next stage of the project at Hunters Moon near Dartington in Devon. The first batch of locally collected tree seed (predominantly acorns) have been sown in the newly created raised beds. These will ultimately be lifted as saplings (`whips`) and planted in local ancient woodlands. Other species to be grown include Ash, Birch, Hazel, Rowan and Hawthorn.

A wet area, wildlife hedgerow, bird boxes and insect habitats have also been introduced at the site. The local community has been engaged through volunteers of all ages working at the site each week while various volunteering and practical conservation courses will be made available to people of all abilities.

Tree planting at Longworth, Oxfordshire

Longworth residents, with the co-operation of Longworth Parish Council, are proposing to plant a mixture of native trees and large shrubs on land adjoining Longworth Manor.

The objectives are to provide a small amenity woodland for the benefit of the public and local schoolchildren, encouraging them to appreciate the local flora and fauna whilst at the same time increasing biodiversity through the enhancement of the local environment.

A comprehensive list of tree species will be planted including Alder, Silver Birch Beech, Ash and Wild Cherry. The mix is designed to contain species which will provide a visually attractive, wildlife friendly environment.

Restore has provided the funding to purchase the seedlings.

Lydden and Temple Ewell Hedgerow

Lydden and Temple Ewell as a reserve has received a number of classifications including National Nature Reserve, the highest classification granted by the UK government. It is also a SSSI, a Site of nature conservation interest (SNCI) and a special area of conservation (SAC).

The reserve is made up of chalk grassland and woodland with a wide tange of flora and fauna including a notable display of orchids, also dyer’s greenweed, cowslip and yellow-wort. The area is excellent at attracting insects and butterflies such as the chalk hill blues and the silver spotted skipper.

There is also a well established colony of wart-biter bush crickets. Restore Our Planet has funded the establishment of a hedgerow on the site as well as feature trees hedging plants and other restorative work. This will incorporate over 2000 hedging trees, including hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn and dog-rows, which will provide an ideal habitat for fieldmice, voles and hedgehogs.

Ham Fen habitat restoration

Ham Fen between Sandwich and Dover, is the last remaing fen land in South East England. Currently only 30 hectares of this fenland remain at the site which has been designated as an SSSI. Much of the original fenland has reverted to scrubland through neglect.

Restore helped support the Kent Wildlife Trust in their project to restore this scarce fen habitat. This required clearing land, excavating to the level of the summer water table and introducing sluices in order to regulate the level required to maintain a healthy fenland habitat. Soil barriers were also needed to prevent flooding into the surrounding areas.

Environmental benefits of this restoration are significant with species benefitting including spoonbill, balck tail godwit corn crake, southern marsh orchid, marsh frittillary butterfly and water vole.

Woolhope Dome habitat restoration

Herefordshire is said by many to be England’s most rural county, and within this beautiful county the Woolhope Dome,an area of wooded hills to the south east of Hereford is one of the most unspoilt areas. The rolling hills are covered by a patchwork of small fields, orchards and woodlands. The ancient winding lanes are enclosed by dense hedges containing many statuesque veteran trees, often apple trees hosting a mass of mistletoe.

Many of the species found in the Woolhope Dome area are listed for conservation both in the UK and Herefordshire Biodiversity Action Plans. Though the local area supporting them requires a co-ordinated habitat restoration exercise due to degradation resulting from agricultural intensification and/or neglect. These habitats include ancient semi-natural woodland, semi-natural grassland, traditional orchards, streams and hedgerows.

Restore Our Planet has helped fund the following priorities within the project: Improvements to existing wildlife habitats, new habitat creation to increase the total area of existing habitats, and habitat management/creation to form links between habitats. This includes hedgerows, shelter belts, field margins, streams buffer zones and roadside verges.

Hook Common habitat restoration

Hook Common is 73 hectares of common land in NE Hampshire comprising neglected heathland and ancient woodland.

A 3 year plan for renovation had been drawn up to restore this SSSI, one of the few surviving areas of open wet heath which survive in the Thames Basin. It will require careful management and liaison with the local community to achieve the necessary restoration.

Restore helped the community’s efforts by funded the removal of unwanted debris, including burnt out cars.

Bee Buddies

Groundwork Sheffield`s Bee Buddies project responds to the national crisis of Honeybee population decline and the lack of awareness surrounding the plight of the Honeybee. 33% of Honeybee colonies were lost in 2009. The British Bee Keeping Association ( BBKA ) has stated that if action is not taken Honeybees will disappear from Britain by 2018.

Honeybees are vital to our survival. They allow 70% of flowering plants to reproduce, accounting for over 30% of the foods and beverages we consume. Without the pollination they provide we will face higher food costs and potential food shortages.

Restore Our Planet is funding the installation of 5 Honeybee hives on the roof of Weston Park Museum in central Sheffield. The museum serves as a prime location to engage the public about the Honeybee`s plight and demonstrate that bees can thrive in cities. Overall the project will see the introduction of 35 hives and the creation of 20,000m2 of Honeybee habitat.

The bee buddies project aims to restore Honeybee populations by installing domestic hives on underused urban spaces such as balconies and green roofs. This will improve local biodiversity and pollination rates. The hives will be used to train a new generation of bee keepers and educate local schools on local food production and bee keeping.

Community woodland education – UK

This is an environmental education charity based in East Anglia. They have many projects across the UK with the goal of ‘bringing communities to life through local action and creative education’.

In 2007 they have 35 projects around the country from Scarborough to Margate. Obtaining 55.9ha of land creating space for 44,000 trees. With their 5 step education rolling program they help children understand the role of trees and woodlands. All educational activities are directly linked to the national curriculum.

Restore has contributed to their ‘Spadeworks’ tree planting program which offers pupils the chance to improve their school’s surroundings.

Lower Woods Nature Reserve – sustainable woodland management

Lower Woods is one of the largest ancient woodlands in the south-west, and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The traditional woodland management technique of coppicing was carried out over centuries, which meant trees of varying ages were found throughout the wood, so there was always somewhere different for a range of plants, fungi, invertebrates and birds. The abandonment of coppicing and loss of dense scrub meant that species like nightingales were lost, but the reintroduction of this management practice by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) has resulted in many species making a comeback.

Following on from Restore Our Planet providing funding for GWT to develop a showcase of sustainable woodland management, the Trust has continued this important work through a number of follow-on projects.

GWT has been undertaking selective felling of non-native conifer species, planted after WWII, specifically targeting veteran Oak trees which had become shaded by these quicker growing species. Felling around the trees, haloing them, aids ‘slow release’ so the Oaks are not immediately exposed to high winds for example, and allows them to grow naturally following years of competing with straight, fast growing evergreen conifers.

GWT also felled Ash trees along Public Rights of Way to protect future veteran trees. There has been significant Ash felling, a problem not envisaged 10 years ago, to maintain public safety. The main routes through the wood were targeted, including the scalloping of ride edges to remove uniform straight edges to increase micro-habitats. This will allow for the development of wide, grassy/scrubby rides, and eliminate harsh grassland/woodland boundaries

An on-site tree nursery has been established to grow seeds collected from the woods to be planted in areas dominated by Ash trees. Natural selection will be the favoured option, but planting will be where needed, especially in areas of conifer plantation.

Ride work has been undertaken along selective routes to restore them to their former glory. This includes Abrahams Walk, once known as ‘Adder Bank’ where these stunning reptiles could be reliably seen. The ride has become overshaded, and the work has opened it up for the first time in decades. As above, scalloped edges, with veteran trees remaining, to increase microhabitats and remove uniform grassland/woodland boundaries.

The School Ponds and Natural Habitats for Learning Project

The School Ponds and Natural Habitats for Learning Project encourages schools to develop and use their own wildlife ponds, providing habitat for a variety of species including frogs.

The three schools chosen are The Moat in Gloucester, Arthur Dye in Cheltenham and Severnbanks in Lydney.

Ashleworth Ham and Meerend Thicket Nature Reserve

Ashleworth Ham and Meerend Thicket Nature Reserve lies in the flood plain of the Severn Vale, to the north east of Ashleworth Village and approximately 8 miles from Cheltenham.

The reserve is part of a much larger SSSI, the remnant of an extensive area of wet meadow land. Access to the reserve is prohibited and birds may only be viewed from hides and a viewing screen in Meerend Thicket.

Ashleworth Ham nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest remains a hugely important wetland site within the Severn Vale, both on a local and national context. It forms part of a suite of functionally linked wetlands which are closely associated with the Severn Estuary, an internationally designated RAMSAR which supports a range of vulnerable communities including fish, wild fowl, waders and migratory bird species.

The site is hugely popular with naturalists and general public alike and provides an important resource for people to reconnect with nature. Wetland habitats provide a front seat opportunity for seeing nature in action, and the facilities funded through Restore Our Planet funding have provided a fantastic visitor experience which continues to be enjoyed today.

The area around Ashleworth ham forms an integral part of Gloucestershire’s Nature Recovery Network, and has been prioritised as a focus area by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust for restoring priority wetland habitat on a landscape scale, further enhancing the important value of the site for both people and wildlife.

An extensive program of work supported by Restore Our Planet has included replacing the viewing screens and the bird hides, creating new scrapes and a grassland mosaic for breeding waders, laying hedges and ditch re-profiling. The sponsored activity has also included a plant and invertebrate survey, and the installation of sluice valves and pump.

Sherracombe Wood broadleaf forest restoration

Sherracombe wood is a 30 hectare woodland mostly comprised of conifers near Brayford on the western edge of the Exmoor National Park in Devon.

It has been acquired by the Badgeworthy Land company with the objective of enhancing its biodiversity and landscape. A 5 year restoration plan was prepared to provide a detailed framework for the removal of the conifer plantation and the restoration of the ancient broadleaf woodland, heathland and other habitats.

Restore Our Planet has supported the conifer clearance, broadleaf planting and associated restoration work.

Eradication of Grey Squirrel from inappropriate areas of Europe

Distribution of the native British Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulagris L.Kerr) is now largely confined to Scotland and Ireland, although isolated populations persist in Southern England, in Wales just a few hundred remain and in Northern England it is found only where Grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) are not yet established. Despite efforts to protect it the Red squirrel is already outnumbered 66:1 by the Grey and may become extinct on mainland Britain in a few years – the current population is estimated at just 160,000. Within a few years of the arrival of the grey squirrel in the vicinity the smaller red squirrel disappears. This is due to a number of factors including competition for food, theft of food caches and disease. Only drastic measures will enable its survival on the British mainland and prevent its elimination in Europe.

The grey squirrel is the principle threat to the survival of the red squirrel in Britain. It has already: Driven out the native red squirrel from all but a few last outpost of the mainland; caused irreparable damage to broadleaf trees such as beech, oak and sycamore; raided bird’s nests to prey on eggs and fledglings, damaged orchards and gardens and poses a threat to the great forests of northern Italy, France and Switzerland. The grey squirrel was introduced to Britain from America and has no natural predators. It has successfully adapted to lowland conditions, is omnivorous, breeds strongly and is equally at home in urban parks and countryside.

Restore feel it is desirable that the red squirrel should be restored to British woods, that woodland song-birds and other wildlife should be protected and that our native trees should be saved from ruin. We help fund the European Squirrel Initiative (ESI) to pursue the creation of a common policy for the British Isles and the rest of Mainland Europe based on dealing with the grey squirrel as an alien species. This policy aims to contain the spread of the grey squirrel, and revitalise research programs into workable and acceptable removal methods and ways to assist re-establishment of the red squirrel.

Restore also looks to fund ESI’s efforts to work closely with national and EU authorities to develop coherent research policies for the whole of Europe and has helped finance a post-doctoral research assistant and the establishment of a web site for the Red Squirrel Trust. Further funding in 2006, 2007 and 2008 has gone towards the design of a research programme to develop and test Immuno-Contraception,the most effective method of controlling the grey squirrel population.

Green Belt protection – South West

On a number of occasions since 2002 Restore Our Planet funded campaigns designed to protect the countryside in the south west including the ongoing campaign fighting against the expansion of Bristol Airport.

Protecting vulnerable rural areas from excessive road development

CPRE work to ensure that the environmental impacts of potential road schemes receive due consideration in the planning process.

To this end Restore Our Planet financed a review of the Government’s ‘London to South West and South West Multi Modal Study’ (SWARMMS), which included a proposal to dual the A303/A30 corridor through many environmentally sensitive areas including the Blackdown Hills. Anyone motoring to the south west will be able to see the results of this campaign.

It was further specified that the research Restore Our Planet commissioned would be made openly available for use, in future reviews of road building schemes across the country.

Research causes of decline in woodland birds

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has initiated a programme to research the decline of UK woodland birds. Volunteers are used at a large number of sites, however identification of woodland species is one of the most difficult aspects of ornithological fieldwork.Dense vegetation means that birds must often be identified by songs or call alone.

To this end Restore Our Planet has supported the BTO’s production of a CD containing the voices of all target species and those they are likely to be confused with. Volunteers will be armed with these in order to help them in the tricky identification process.

Rwandan Gorillas

The Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund International is dedicated to the conservation and protection of gorillas and their habitat in Africa. They are committed to promoting continued research on their threatened ecosystems and education about their relevance to the world in which we live.

In collaboration with government agencies and other international partners, they also provide assistance to local communities through education, training and economic development initiatives.

Restore Our Planet has made donations in support of the Gorilla Fund’s vital habitat protection and restoration work, in order to protect the vulnerable environment of Rwanda’s endangered Mountain Gorillas from human encroachment.

Conservation of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros

The current estimate of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros ( Rhinoceros unicornis ) population is just 2,006 of which 81% live in Assam, and 75% of that figure survive in Kaziranga National Park, making this park fundamental to the survival of the species. The Indian rhino was once found throughout the northern sub-continent.

In the past century human encroachment on vital habitat, hunting and the slaughter by poachers, eager to satisfy the voracious illegal market for rhino horn in Chinese medicine, has resulted in a catastrophic decline in the species.

The aim of this project is to ensure the survival of the Indian rhino through three key objectives. Increased anti-poaching operations with population and habitat monitoring;Protection of the park`s boundaries from human encroachment and entry by poachers;Increased awareness through staff training and community environmental education workshops.

To assist these aims Restore Our Planet has agreed to fund the hiring of elephants for anti-poaching patrols, cash incentives to forest staff and scholarships to children of Kaziranga Forest staff.

Protecting Quilombola Forests in the Brazilian Amazon

Protecting Quilombola Forests in the Brazilian Amazon forms a part of the `In Their Lifetime` appeal established in 2009. This is a pioneering appeal that enables Christian Aid to try out new approaches to fighting poverty and scale up the ideas that work best.

It`s about bringing together philanthropists, technical experts and grassroots organisations to find radical new solutions to entrenched, complex problems. The overall objective of this project is to protect 1,019,768 hectares of tropical rainforest which is both the home and source of survival for some 2,000 Quilombola families in the northern State of Para, Brazil.

This can be achieved by building the knowledge and capacity of the forest-dependent Quilombola communities to defend and protect their territory from activities such as illegal logging and mining. Also by sensitizing state stakeholders and wider Brazilian society about the need for public policies and measures to protect the rainforests and the crucial role the Quilombola can play.

Restore Our Planet is pleased to support this innovative project.

Safe habitat for Borneo’s orangutans

Bornean orangutans are critically endangered and their very existence hangs in the balance. Habitat loss and the illegal pet trade have depleted their numbers and urgent conservation action is needed to reverse the trend in population declines.

In 2008 Restore helped fund the lease of 86,450 hectares of rainforest in East Kalimantan, Borneo called Kehje Sewen, to keep this area from being sold to palm oil producers or logging companies. The first pioneer rehabilitated orangutans were released here from Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation rehabilitation centres in early 2012, and to date 68 orangutans have been reintroduced here. Simultaneously BOS Foundation commenced orangutan reintroductions in Central Kalimantan where over 200 orangutans have been released and the populations thriving. These are the most successful orangutan reintroduction programs in the world and this is a huge step towards establishing much needed viable and safe orangutan communities.

BOS Foundation focuses their efforts on long-term orangutan conservation managing the world’s largest orangutan rescue and rehabilitation centres in the world at Samboja Lestari in East Kalimantan and Nyaru Menteng in Central Kalimantan to support orphaned or displaced orangutans. They also protect over 300,000 hectares of rainforest on Borneo in Mawas, which provides habitat to 3,000 orangutans, and as such is one of the last remaining strongholds for orangutans on Borneo. Their wider work covers projects such as reforestation as well as education and community development programmes to co-establish ways to work and live with the rainforest in a sustainable way. Restore’s funding to BOS Foundation, has helped BOS Foundation projects survive and thrive.

Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme

The Ethiopian wolf is endemic to the highlands of Ethiopia, where it persists in a handful of Afroalpine mountain ranges. This project is located in the Bale and Arsi Mountains, South Ethiopia and Menz, Wollo. Mt Guna and Simien, North Ethiopia.Monitoring and research activity estimates no more than 500 adult wolves remaining.

The project is a long term endeavour which has amongst its objectives, the monitoring of all populations of wolves so that evidence based management interventions can be implemented where appropriate; community and school education regarding the importance and value of natural resources; supporting community development in the area and working with partner organisations to deliver capacity- building and ensure adequate wolf habitat remains in perpetuity.

The prevention of rabies and canine distemper in the largest population in Bale is also a core objective. Restore Our Planet has supported this Programme due to the habitat/community qualities and its long term focus on one of the worlds `lower profile` species.

The Central Himalayan Rural Action Group

90% of the population in the state of Uttaranchal in the central Himalaya depend upon forests for their subsistence needs. The disappearance of forests from this region is thus a severe threat to local livelihoods as well as a regional threat leading to increased risks of flooding and drought.

The Central Himalayan Rural Action Group is a small Indian NGO which during 1997-2003 worked in Uttaranchal in the district of Nainital and surrounding districts focussing on the reafforestation of 600 hectares of degraded hillsides.

Restore Our Planet have funded the continuation of this work over the years 2004-2006, supporting CHIRAG’s work with 20 new villages to reafforest a further 360 hectares of degraded hillside and provide maintenance protection and monitoring as well as further environmental training.

Ludwell Valley Park Hedgerow restoration

Over 5 years the Ludwell Valley park restoration project will restore a country park to the south-east of Exeter on the fringe of one of the largest housing estates in the south-west. Restore Our Planet has supported this project which will have a huge impact on the local biodiversity and will ensure the site is protected from future development.

The majority of hedgerows in the park are overgrown and in many parts represent a thin line of trees rather than thick bushy hedgerow. The restoration plan involves laying or ‘steeping’ 2000m of overgrown hedgerow combined with interplanting using a variety of shrub species to combat loss due to disease.

Exeter City Council’s six countryside valley parks on the city’s urban fringe represent an important and easily accesssible resource. Ludwell park is not at present rich in wildlife, the hedgerow restoration and tree planting that Restore have financed will assist in rapidly building up a strong food based chain of the sort required to reinvigorate local biodiversity.

Many of the UK’s native mammals such as mice, voles, shrews, stoats, rabbitsnd badgers make their homes in hedgerows. 5 birds of prey species are regularly observed in the park including Barn Owls. Reed buntings and cirl buntings are also present aswell as a number of species of bat and butterfly.

School Flutter Flower Programme

The aim of the School Flutter Flower project is to create wildflower habitats in School grounds and in communities all over the UK. This is designed to complement the School Tree Nursery Programme ( STNP ) supported by Restore Our Planet for a number of years.

The decline in wildflower environments can be attributed to a number of issues. Changes in land use via `conventional` farming which uses herbicides and insecticides coupled with machines that allow vast areas of former meadows to be ploughed up or cut for silage before wildflowers can set seed; human population increase resulting in increased building development; traditional cottage gardens being substituted for ornamental non-native plants.

Almost any area of ground can be restored with plants appropriate for any soil types with a sunny or shady aspect. Hedgerows, ponds, stony ground and wooded areas can all be enhanced with wild grasses, sedges and flowers. This would also help to boost dwindling invertebrate populations including butterflies. Earth Restoration Service will assess each area by putting forward a biological feasibility study for each school to see what soil type and habitats already exist.

Plants already on site will be recorded then appropriate native wild plants introduced. Restore Our Planet will annually liaise with ERS regarding respective requirements for both this Programme and STNP.

School Tree Nursery Programme

Evolving from the international “Restore the Earth” conference held in Scotland in 2002, Earth Restoration Service (ERS) was founded in 2004 and became a Registered Charity in early 2007. ERS`s vision for a global effort to restore the life sustaining capacity of the planet calls for positive action by all the world`s citizens to play their part in restoring the natural health of their own environments.

To that end, ERS encourages the participation of communities, organisations and individuals in a network of ecosystem restoration projects in the UK and around the world. The combined aim of the UK School Tree Nurseries (STNs) is to provide trees for restoration of locally degraded environments such as flood land, eroded countryside and neglected inner city areas, and to educate and support the children, adults and communities involved.

STNs are created within school grounds, with children participating in raising saplings in a nursery environment, giving them both a sense of achievement and tangible environmental educational benefit. Once saplings have reached the correct maturity, ERS arranges their planting out by the children in co-ordination with local council authorities, identifying the most appropriate places, generally barren areas prone to erosion or degraded city areas.

In 2008 a total of 25 schools across the country were supplied with native trees and now further funding has been provided in both 2009 and 2010.

The Brownsea Island habitat

The Brownsea Island Saline Lagoon near Poole harbour in Dorset has been awarded RAMSCAR and SAC status. Under the stewardship of the Dorset Wildlife Trust it has become an internationally important site for nesting common tern (n.248pairs), sandwich tern (n.213 pairs) and for wintering avocet (n.870) and black-tailed godwit (n.1200).

Habitat destruction of the nesting and wintering birds, due to development in Poole Harbour was increasing the need for extra nesting capacity at the site. The birds are attracted to the lagoon by the creation of islands which provide ideal nesting conditions and reduce disturbance and predation. Restore Our Planet funded the construction of two new ‘tern islands’ and also general improvement of the nearby reedbed to enhance the surrounding habitat and lead to greater numbers of waders feeding in winter and improved gull nesting. The project proved a remarkable success with Sandwich terns immediately using the newly constructed islands. Brownsea Saline lagoon now hosts between 1%-2% of all nationally nesting terns and 0.5% of the entire world’s population (12,000 pairs) of black headed gulls.

Purchase of Winfrith Heath: SSSI

Winfrith Heath comprises 255 acres of beautiful heathland situated between Dorchester and Poole. It was extremely vulnerable to development or mineral extraction activities. Restore Our Planet helped fund Dorset Wildlife Trust to purchase the area to ensure its preservation, restoration and continued mangement.Restoration and management work has continued ever since the Trust acquired the nature reserve. This includes the checking of encroachment by birch and pine and coppicing to encourage heathland regeneration.

The main new challenge is the return of grazing, and in order to improve the interest of the open heath – cattle and ponies (the original ‘heath croppers’) are being reintroduced. For the visitor, the David Limb Trail now forms the start of a long circular walk which takes ramblers from Winfrith Heath, across the Tadnoll Brook and meadows, and on to the heath at Tadnoll and back.

Crag House Farm nature conservation

Crag House Farm is the centre for a conservation project for the benefit of disadvantaged and disabled people in the Leeds area.

Having already established a coppice with ash, hazel, osier and lime, extensive hedging, three ponds and a wetland area we are now funding the planting of a wildflower meadow, and further restoration of the natural flora of the local woodland.

Rowland Wood- Restoration and Management

Butterfly Conservation has purchased Rowland Wood, an 80 acre woodland which is part of the famous Vert Wood complex 2 kms south of East Hoathly, East Sussex which supports the last remaining colony of the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary in South East England. Vert Wood is also considered one of the best moth sites in the country due to the mix of ancient woodland, heathland habitat and its overall size.

The neighbouring woodland also holds breeding adders, raven, hobby and nightjar. Rare moths include Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth and White-spotted Sable ( Anania funebris ). The purchase of the wood was made possible by the generous legacy from Miss Pamela Lewis in memory of her mother and father, however additional funding is now required to pay for urgent woodland management.

It is planned to widen rides, create open glades and to remove some of the denser conifer plantations which are shading out large areas of potentially good butterfly habitat. Restore Our Planet has provided a grant to assist in the purchase of a suitable piece of equipment to help carry out this work.

Morecambe Bay Limestone Hills Conservation

The Morecambe Bay Limestone Hills are the single most important area for butterflies in northern England. This area is the national stronghold for the High Brown Fritillary, a UK BAP Priority Species and one of our most threatened species.

The Morecambe Bay Limestone Hills also support important populations of six other rare and threatened butterflies, the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Northern Brown Angus, Duke of Burgundy, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Dingy Skipper and the Grayling.

The Cumbria branch of Butterfly Conservation organises 10 conservation work parties in this area every year but without the necessary equipment progress can be limited as they struggle to keep pace with scrub growth that is overwhelming the butterfly`s habitat, shading out the nectar sources and the caterpillar food plants.

Restore Our Planet has agreed to provide the funding for the purchase of all required equipment.