I hope you are staying safe and well during these unprecedented times. Ensuring our members, supporters and visitors to our nature reserves stay safe is extremely important to us, so it was with regret that, following the latest guidelines from the government we have taken the decision to entirely close our Westhay and Catcott reserves. Due to their popularity, particularly at this time of year, they are more likely to bring a larger number of pairs or small groups together - which is contrary to the social distancing advice given by the government.
Our other reserves will remain open to those local to them for their daily outside excursion, but social distancing guidelines must be observed for the safety of other visitors. We will continue to monitor this and if necessary we will close these also. Our reserves staff are working within the new guidelines and will continue to care for these special places as best they can.
I realise that for many of you, getting out into the natural world is an important part of your life, and these closures will be of great disappointment, but it is vital that the Trust plays its part in keeping members of the public safe and protecting our NHS. Thank you for your understanding.
Open your wildlife window
Fortunately however, nature isn’t confined to nature reserves! I expect you've spent more time in your garden or outside space in the last week, particularly as the sun has come out for Spring to arrive in all its glory. Those signs of Spring - trees bursting into blossom, birds busy nesting, flowers emerging from deep underground - are all signs that we too will emerge from this situation eventually. I, for one, am looking out of my window and finding comfort that nature carries on regardless, and will still be there for us when it is all over - possibly very grateful for having a rest from us!
As we build a swell of wider appreciation for nature during this time, we also hope that we drive an enhanced desire to value it, protect it and bring it into our lives permanently - not just in times of crisis. The climate and ecological emergencies that existed before will still be there when we return, and we hope that there will be a greater number of people to take on the challenges these present and support us as we look for solutions.
We're in this together...
You have been sharing some brilliant pictures of the wildlife out of your windows, following the launch of our #wildlifewindow campaign last week. Thank you so much! It has cheered so many people up across the county. If you haven't already done so, please sign up to our social media channels and take a look - and start sharing what you’ve caught sight of by using the hashtag #wildlifewindow and tagging us. Staying connected is so important at a time like this so link up with fellow wildlife enthusiasts and let's get through it together.
Over the coming weeks we're going to increase the range of resources on our website to give you some inspiration and ideas for what you can do at home to support wildlife in your own garden or outdoor space, large or small. We're including indoor and outdoor activities, crafty things to do to keep the kids entertained, guides to building wildlife homes and putting wildlife features into your gardens - even things you can do from your own armchair!
We hope that they keep you inspired and connected to wildlife during this time. Check our website regularly as we will add more as we go - and please share links with others who are looking for things to occupy their time whilst we have so much of it!
Wishing you, your family and friends and communities the very best,
Chief Executive Officer of Somerset Wildlife Trust
Our staff are now all working at home. We have systems in place that enable us to function remotely. Our offices are closed to staff and visitors. Post sent to our office will most likely be opened just once a week for the time being, so please bear with us if our response is not as quick as you are used to. We strongly advise you to send correspondence by email to firstname.lastname@example.org as this will be monitored daily. If you have a membership enquiry, please email email@example.com.