The Waterlife Recovery Trust is delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding from Natural England’s Species Recovery Programme. The new grant of £500,000 will allow us to expand our work outwards from East Anglia to cover an area from the Thames to mid Lincolnshire (see map above). Better still, the Essex Wildlife Trust and Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust have kindly contributed an additional £288,000 to this joint venture, allowing us collectively to remove mink from 18.5% of England.
As a further demonstration of Natural England’s desire to rid our countryside of American mink, three other mink trapping projects in areas adjacent to ours were funded at the same time, and we’ve already been in touch with the project leaders to set up close collaboration. The combined area of all our projects amounts to 26% of England, which represents brilliant news for the future prospects of water voles and countless other native wildlife species across 15 counties.
Our new project allows for the employment of six new staff, of which five have already been selected. Nearly 400 new smart rafts will be deployed across the project area, each managed by one or more volunteer citizen conservationists who will be guided and supported by a project staff member. If you live in north London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Northants, Rutland or Lincolnshire and would like to join the Waterlife Recovery volunteer team, and/or have a waterway running through your land, please contact us via the Home Page of the WRT website. Our army of volunteers has also achieved a conservation miracle by removing invasive mink from most of East Anglia, and the aim is now to replicate that success across the whole of England, starting with the counties listed above. If you’d like to see your local waterside wildlife rejuvenated, join us. We’ll provide equipment, training, support and guidance throughout.