Jan 2nd 2024

A New Year’s Message from our Co-Founder & Director


Recent end of year reports in the media included news that scientists at the Natural History Museum named, on average, two new species every day during 2023. Proof if proof were needed that our planet still has much to teach us and that the Foundation’s Unlocking Nature  projects are an important element of our programme.

Our overarching aims to Inspire, Encourage and Celebrate include programmes to support young people to develop and increase their first-hand knowledge of the wonders of nature.

Working with our colleagues at Blooms, the environmental education group we have been supporting their workshops for young pupils at schools in London’s East End where pupils and their families have little or no opportunity to experience nature apart from on a television screen. Blooms introduce the simple wonders of touch, smell and feeling nature to their workshop sessions. Plans are in hand to increase our support so that such important eco-awareness can be extended and, hopefully, pave the way to create new Young Conservationists such as those studying at Exeter University who we have helped to get first-hand experience of conservation projects through our Marine Lives project including involvement with seals and turtles around the world this year. Meanwhile we have provided funding for research into climate change issues affecting the yews at Newlands Corner near Guildford. Scientific research on this unique collection of what could be the world’s oldest collection of yews being undertaken by the Ancient Yew Group could prove of importance to ancient yews throughout the UK.

There is so much more we could be doing and much of our focus in 2024 will be on fundraising which, as we all know, is easier said than done! But help is on the way as we welcome new young trustees to the Foundation’s board. They bring new enthusiasm and new ideas to our 40 years plus of environmental activities which have supported countless young people over the years.


David Shreeve