Since my last update we have updated our website to enable members and supporters to make donations to the charity.
We have been incredibly grateful to see just how many of you are making donations for all sorts of reasons. Only last month we received a donation from a new member who joined us after being involved in the rescue and rearing of a house martin chick.
In my role as treasurer, I am acutely aware of the responsibility we bear when it comes to spending your money wisely and in line with our constitution. To this end, we the trustees and executive board of the charity are committed to ensuring that 100% of the money donated as unrestricted funds actually goes into conservation or educational projects.
Those of you familiar with our website will note that we have a comprehensive database of rescue and rehab centres to ensure that house martins that get into trouble can quickly be taken into experienced care. As a charity we are totally committed to helping as much as we can with any house martin in trouble. However, as there is little or no regulation of wildlife rescues here in the UK the specialist care that house martins require in order to ensure a successful release is not always understood. In order to establish a best practice approach to the care, rehab and release of house martins we are undertaking a project of registration/education to roll out a best practice standard which can be adopted by any rescue/rehab partners. This project will cover care, feeding, housing and rehabilitation and we hope that if rescues do not have the right equipment, we might be in a position to help provide vital bits of kit, that might make a huge difference.
We are also looking at how we can help to support people to install artificial nest boxes, to secure housing, to encourage colony growth and creation. This is something that we have been supporting since day one. We have issued in excess of 10,000 leaflets encouraging the installation and Birdfair was a good opportunity for us to spread the word. We also wish to support community initiatives such as the wonderful work in Bentley Wood by Sue Walker (see below). We are also hoping that our Haven membership scheme will open up opportunities for us to partner with corporate members who may host some of our biggest colonies. Our third focus area will be education. This important work stream will weave in and out of the other two main areas but will also have vital work in communities and schools and I look forward to sharing information with you as the initiatives progress.
A month or so ago I attended a lecture at Cambridge University given by Tony Juniper. Tony is a campaigner, author, sustainability adviser and well-known British environmentalist who is currently the chair of Natural England. His captivating lecture centred on the question posed in his bestselling book ‘What Has Nature Ever Done for Us?’ which explores the concept that we as an urban society may have lost sight of the connections between seemingly unconnected processes of nature and the security of our food and water supply and ultimately our health and our happiness.
Written by Ben MacDonald