Remember A Charity Week

Monday 12th September 2011

Autumn walk  by Tanya Perdikou

What does a beauty spot along the River Pang, thought to be the inspiration for Wind in the Willows, have in common with Wales’ largest sandwich tern colony and some of the last remaining ancient broadleaf woodlands in Warwickshire? Legacies have played a part in securing a future for them all, say The Wildlife Trusts, as Remember A Charity week gets underway.

Remember A Charity Week runs from 12 – 18 September. It aims to shine a light on the importance of gifts left to charities in wills.  More than 140 charities from around the UK, including The Wildlife Trusts, come together during the week to encourage more people to consider leaving a gift to charity when writing a will.

Currently just 7% of the UK population remembers a charity in their will.  Some local Wildlife Trusts will show their support to Remember A Charity Week by taking part in events and running special offers on legacies, in partnership with solicitors.

Each year The Wildlife Trusts’ work to protect and create wildlife-rich areas, is given a tremendous boost through legacies. These generous gifts can mean the difference between saving a wildlife haven and losing it forever.  Radnorshire Wildlife Trust’s Tylcau Hill Flossie Brand nature reserve is named in honour of the individual whose legacy donation made the purchase of the site possible. Today, it is a place in which cuckoo, curlew and small pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies thrive.

Thanks to other like-minded individuals, there are examples just like this all around the UK, from meadows in Lincolnshire to commons in Shropshire.  Any size donation can make a real difference, whether it is enough to buy land, or simply to support the work of The Wildlife Trusts. By leaving a gift in your will for Wildlife Trusts to use as they wish, we can direct funds where they are needed most. This might be engaging communities with, and educating them about, their local wildlife, or supporting work around a specific species or habitat, for example improving habitat along rivers for the benefit of otters.

Sir David Attenborough, Vice President of The Wildlife Trusts, said:
“The Wildlife Trusts are dedicated to wildlife conservation.  Making a gift to them when you write or update your will is a very special way of ensuring they can continue to do this. A few words from you can mean a new nature reserve is purchased, a rare habitat is secured or simply that people who have the skills and passion to protect wildlife can go on doing so in your local area.”

Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, added: “This week is very much the focal point in our calendar. Many people aren’t aware that it is possible to leave money to charities in their will, which is one of the reasons why our work is so important.  After looking after family and friends, making a donation to a charity like The Wildlife Trusts can make a real difference to the invaluable work they do.”

Select solicitors are offering discounts on will writing in connection to Remember A Charity Week. To find out if there are any in your area, or if you want to know how else you can get involved in Remember A Charity Week, contact your local Wildlife Trust. You can find their details at www.wildlifetrusts.org/yourlocaltrust.

For more information about Remember A Charity Week visit www.rememberacharity.org.uk.