We launched our Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund in July this year, and – thanks to our supporters – we’ve already been able to fund TEN groups working on the front line. That’s ’empowering people to protect British wildlife’ in action and we couldn’t be more grateful.
In just a few short months our supporters have helped us send A bundle of kit to protect wildlife in Shropshire, get a Trail cam and night vision optics to Derbyshire, provided a Body cam for the wildlife heroes on Salisbury Plain, and bought a video camera for Recording hunts across Yorkshire and Humberside in 4K. We’ve funded hunt monitors, wildlife protectors, and anti-badger cull groups from Somerset to North Yorkshire (we’d love to send equipment to Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and all parts between as well – give us time and we will!).
A Virtuous Circle
Protect the Wild (and before it Keep the Ban, the organisation that preceded Protect the Wild) has always supported groups, but this summer we took a decision to put that funding on a more formal footing with the Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund. We aimed to involve our supporters, ensure a regular income stream, and lay the groundwork for longer-term relationships with all the groups we fund (we have big plans which we’re looking to announce next Spring).
As we said at the time, we envisaged a sort of ‘virtuous circle’. You can read about that at “What do we mean by “Empowering people to protect British wildlife”?” but essentially in return for our support we ask that the groups we fund in effect offer support to other groups by helping us to build subscriber numbers on Substack. They can do that simply by providing us with material we can post.
The response has been fantastic. And it’s not just the front-line animal protectors that are looking at the Equipment Fund and wanting to get involved. Our supporters think it’s a good idea too.
We started posting a ‘target’ graphic a few weeks ago as a way of showing how the Equipment Fund was building up, and we’ve already had to change it as donations have leapt from the equivalent of £700/month to £800/month. In fact, as of writing this, we may need to change it again soon.
That’s incredible given how the country is struggling at the moment and shows that our supporters want to protect wildlife as much as we do.
Onwards and upwards
Most groups we fund are made up of volunteers and pay for literally everything themselves and we want to take more of that burden off their shoulders.
As our target graphic shows, we want to be able to distribute at least £1000 worth of support to them every month. That would mean at a minimum offering two groups £500 each every month. That could make a huge difference to them.
But why stop there?
We’re nothing if not ambitious (you have to be if you want to actually achieve anything), and we would love to be in a position to do far more. For example, many monitors drive hundreds of miles and costs are astronomical these days – wouldn’t it be great to fill up their fuel tanks at the start of each season? What if we could give a drone to every group that wanted one – they’re expensive bits of kit but are wonderful tools for recording wildlife crime and wildlife persecution? What if we could give every rescue vital equipment to help protect and rehabilitate even more animals?
Just a pipedream? We don’t think so. As we said we have plans. Whatever we do though, we will never forget that all our funding comes from you, our supporters. We are absolutely committed to ensuring we use your donations diligently. And to telling you exactly who we’re funding. That’s very important to us, and we know from feedback that it’s important to you too.
No matter what we want to do in the years to come there really is no ‘virtuous circle’ without our supporters, so once again thank you. Thank you from us, the groups we support together, and – most importantly – thank you from the animals we’re all helping to protect.
- If you’re an individual or organisation working in the field and would like to apply to our fund we’d lobve to hear from you – wherever you are! Please read our T&Cs here first and use the online application form on the same page.