Director’s Note – August 28th 2020

To email, or not to email? – question solved!


My question was linked to a statement made during a Zoom meeting last week when someone said – ‘but no-one uses email anymore’.   I put this to the test by sending the following email to many people I know to up-date them on what The Conservation Foundation has been doing during lockdown.   The response has been a resounding ‘yes’ to emails.  ‘Please. please, please don’t take me off your mailing list’ said one correspondent. Others blamed misinformation from the social media companies, others claim they know people who are emailing all day long.  Whatever your views and favourite it looks like emails are still very much part of our communications mix. So if you’re getting our news on social media and would like an email now and again, do please go ahead and send me an  er…….er .email.


The main thing to report is that despite being locked down and locked out of the office The Conservation Foundation has been operating as normally as possible during this unusual time for everyone.


Tools Shed which refurbishes unwanted garden tools in prisons for school and community gardens suffered a double whammy with collection points closed and prisons in total lockdown.  However, we have good news to report – a special scheme for prisons to counter the effects of Covid has awarded the Foundation a grant which will enable us to launch a new Unlocking Nature project to restore and enlarge an orchard at HMP Onley, near Rugby.  So many orchards have been lost that planting new ones in prisons could be a great way to bring their therapeutic qualities to both inmates and staff and, hopefully, some fruit and jam for the local community.



Geothermal Geysers

Geothermal is a relatively new and potentially exciting energy source and a project linked with its development came to the Foundation during lockdown and we’re currently interviewing applicants for a new team member to help with its marketing.  This could be a great opportunity for a young graduate to get onto the first rung of a career in the environment.



elm trees conservation foundation leaf

Elms Across Europe was a project even before there was a Conservation Foundation, but by keeping an interest alive for all these years we are seeing an increased interest in elms with a number of potential projects looking to encourage a return of elms. Lockdown has had one positive impact, with a group of elm experts and enthusiasts taking part in virtual roundtables organised by the Foundation to discuss ‘how best’ to bring back the elm.


There is an elm map on our website which is driving us mad!  Does anyone know a keen computer expert who could help sort it out? If so, do let me know.


Meanwhile we continue to keep our links with yews and mulberries and we working on existing and new projects in Kenya, Cameroon, Philippines and Nigeria.


And finally – if you are shopping on-line do remember that the Foundation is registered as a charity with Amazon Smile so if the box appears saying you can help a charity when you’re placing an order we’d be very grateful for your support.


Keep well!


David Shreeve


The Conservation Foundation