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Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund #5: Shropshire Wildlife Monitors

The Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund was set up in summer 2023 to help put ‘eyes in the field‘, empowering people to protect British wildlife.

We set the fund up because we know that many people who monitor are largely unfunded volunteers and often have no umbrella organisation to support them. That means they have to put fuel in their own cars to patrol the hunts or cover large areas to check on badger setts, and they usually have to buy the kit they use in the field themselves. We want to help make things a little easier for these remarkable and selfless people by donating the equipment that they or their group may need. While we would love to equip every monitor group with new vehicles, that’s a little bit out of our range (at least for the moment!): we do though try to provide everything from trail- or body-cameras, radios, night-vision optics, or perhaps hi-viz clothing.

How do we know what they need though? Because we always have a conversation with every group before we fund them, checking exactly what they need and how it will be used. Once that is all sorted out, we then ask recipients to write a brief note about their group and how they’ll use the kit we provide. That’s because, as we explain below, our funds come from our supporters. We want to do our very best to show you that we are using those funds as efficiently and as effectively as possible. It also means that any thanks given by groups in these posts should go to you!

We were recently contacted by Shropshire Wildlife Monitors and responded as quickly as possible. In this post they explain who they are, the area they cover, and how they plan to use their new equipment.

 

Member of South Shropshire Hunt at Winsley Hall August 2023. Image Shropshire Wildlife Monitors

“We are Shropshire Wildlife Monitors. Our group is based in north Shropshire, although we do cover the whole of Shropshire at times

We have been going for five years now, and are slowly building up our numbers.

We mainly concentrate on hunt monitoring from late August to March. There are six hunts in Shropshire, although due to the counties close by we also visit a few others, We also assist our fellow monitors in Cheshire and Staffs with hunt monitoring.

We cover the badger cull, and spend our summers sett surveying, logging setts and collecting vital information for our records, as well as checking areas for any illegal traps, snares etc

We have in the past raised some funds by selling homemade goods and treats, and also man an outreach stand to attract new members and to make people aware of the ongoing wildlife issues.

Because our numbers are increasing, and we want to be able to protect our new members, we wear body cameras. They are also a vital source for collecting evidence.

We have some radios, but now need more and require them with longer antennae as the terrain we cover can sometimes be challenging and radio contact is vital.

We contacted Protect the Wild for some funding help and are extremely pleased that they have supported us!

Thank you Protect the Wild for supporting us and providing us with much-needed equipment to keep our new members safe!”

 

  • Shropshire Wildlife Monitors are on Facebook at ShropWildMonitors. To pass on any information/tip offs please call 07909 170211

 

 

We’re working hard to raise the profile of the Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund so that more groups (and more wildlife) can benefit. As part of that effort we’ve asked each recipient to explain what they do and how they are using the equipment we have provided – not only to show supporters how their donations are being spent, but also to encourage other groups to apply! After all, the more ‘eyes in the field’ there are, the higher the chances that wildlife criminals will be caught, and the safer wildlife will be.

We are able to buy the equipment we give out because of paid subscriptions on Substack. While all our online content is free, any money we do receive from paid subscriptions is ringfenced and used to buy equipment to put ‘eyes in the field’. It’s a simple idea – but the best ideas usually are! If you’d like to know more we have explained it all in our post “What do we mean by “Empowering people to protect British wildlife“?

With your support we will be giving out many more pieces of equipment to groups over the coming months and years. And we will always keep you up to date with how your support is directly helping wildlife!

If you’re an individual or organization working in the field and would like to apply to our fund please read our T&Cs here first and use the online application form on the same page.