The Wildlife Trusts' response to Coronavirus

The Wildlife Trusts' response to Coronavirus

The health and wellbeing of the public, volunteers and staff are of utmost importance to The Wildlife Trusts, and we have therefore been keeping a close eye on government advice in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Tuesday 5th January 2021

See The Wildlife Trusts latest response here.

Wednesday 23rd December

The natural world can provide comfort during difficult times, and it's important that people feel able to maintain a connection with nature. In light of new restrictions we are asking people to continue to follow Government guidance and to stay local when accessing natural spaces. Most Wildlife Trust nature reserves remain open for the public to access, but please do check with your Wildlife Trust before visiting. 

If you're looking for some top tips on connecting with wildlife this winter, why not take part in our 12 Days Wild challenge? You'll receive emails and digital resources to help you to get outdoors and discover nature. 

We also have some advice and activities on connecting with nature here. Stay safe and wild this winter.

Thursday 25th June

Please visit GOV.UK for the most up-to-date advice on accessing green spaces safely.


Wednesday 13th May

Updated guidance on safe access to the outdoors under the revised restrictions in England have now been issued. Please visit GOV.UK for more information.

Sport England has also issued guidance on sport and recreation.

Monday 11th May

Following the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday, The Wildlife Trusts urge visitors to our nature reserves to continue to follow social distancing guidelines to help control the spread of Covid-19. Visitors are also encouraged to check the advice issued in each of the countries, as the permitted levels of exercise and reasons to travel differ depending on whether you are in EnglandNorthern IrelandScotland or Wales.

Wildlife Trust visitor and education centres remain closed, as well as some nature reserves. Before planning a visit to a nature reserve please check the website of the Wildlife Trust in that area for the latest information. As always, on any visit to our nature reserves, please be mindful of the wildlife that lives there and of other visitors. We would also encourage you to walk or cycle wherever possible.

Nature continues to bring many of us solace in these difficult times, so do continue to take time out of your day to enjoy the wild places around you, whether that be in your garden, local park or nature reserve. With a Wildlife Trust nature reserve within walking distance of two thirds of the population, hopefully there is one near you! Also, take a look at some of our ideas for enjoying nature and register for our annual nature challenge, 30 Days Wild, for inspiration and encouragement throughout the month of June.

The Wildlife Trusts are, like others, dealing with the unprecedented challenges caused by coronavirus and nature conservation is suffering during these challenging times. Please consider supporting your local Wildlife Trust’s vital work by making a donation or becoming a member – and a huge thank you to those of you that already support us in this way.

Monday 4th May

The Wildlife Trusts are continuing to share new ways to connect with the natural world during lockdown. Sign up for newsletter updates from your Wildlife Trust or check out our webpage.

Got children? Then our Wildlife Watch YouTube channel has new content uploaded weekly. The countdown is also on for 30 Days Wild, which kicks off on June 1st. Sign up now for this annual nature challenge, which dares you to do something wild everyday of June.

For the latest news on how covid-19 is impacting the Wildlife Trusts visit our news page.

Covid-19 and The Wildlife Trusts

Thursday 9th April

We hope that everyone enjoys some time connecting with the natural world over the Easter bank holiday. Whether watching a butterfly flutterby or a flower coming into bloom in your garden or local area - take this time to relax and unwind.

Whatever your plans, please continue to follow the Government guidance and that shared below to ensure you enjoy the outdoors in a way that keeps you and others safe. Take care and a very happy Easter!

Friday 3rd April

With good weather predicted this weekend, we've lots of great activities to do in your garden enabling you to stay safe whilst enjoying the sunshine. Stay local and share your garden sightings with us on social media using #everydaywildlife.

Things to do this weekend

Whilst we would advise people to avoid popular footpaths during the warm weather, for those accessing public rights of way as part of their permitted daily exercise, the Government has urged that the Countryside Code is adherred to. In addition, they advise that:

  • You maintain a distance of at least two metres from other people
  • Hand wash/sanitise after touching any shared surfaces e.g. sites/gates
  • Keep dogs on a lead around livestock and away from other people/dogs
  • Leave gates as you find them.

The Government also stresses that the risk of Coronavirus being passed on to people using public rights of way and other paths and trails is considered to be very low, as long as people follow instructions around social distancing. 

Please see the updates below for The Wildlife Trusts full response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday 31st March

As we all know, time spent connecting with nature is really important for our health and wellbeing, but at the current time it's essential that you do this in as safe a way as possible.

Today, Government guidelines have been shared that provide some useful points on how to safely access your local green spaces. The full statement can be found here, but the headlines include:

  • Stay local and use open spaces near to your home - do not travel unnecessarily
  • Only venture outside on your own or with members of your household
  • Keep two metres apart from anyone outside of your household
  • Do not hold gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces - this will be enforced by the police
  • If you have a garden, use this for exercise and fresh air
  • Take hygiene precautions whilst outdoors and wash your hands when you return to your home.

Tuesday 24th March

In light of yesterday's announcement from the Government, a number of Wildlife Trusts have taken the hard decision to close nature reserves with a high footfall. However, the majority of our nature reserves remain open with free access. If you intend on visiting any of our nature reserves in order to take your one-form of exercise a day (e.g. running, walking), please follow Government guidance and only visit those you can reach by foot and abide by the advice on social distancing, which can be found here

For the latest information on nature reserve closures in your local area, please check your Wildlife Trust's website.

Sunday 22nd March

Some Wildlife Trusts are closing some nature reserves, including car parks, due to high visitor numbers. While we know that access to nature is important for health and wellbeing, it's equally essential that Wildlife Trusts prioritise the safety of their staff and visitors. Check your local Wildlife Trust's website for further details. 

We urge everybody to continue to practice social distancing everywhere, and isolation where required.

Spending time in your garden or noticing nature from your window can help to relieve stress and improve mental wellbeing. We've got a page full of activities to help you.

Ideas for staying connected

Wildlife Trusts carry out important work for wildlife and wild places. Thank you to all supporters for your continued understanding during these exceptional times.

Wednesday 18th March

In recent days, Wildlife Trusts across the UK have been evaluating the services they provide involving social contact and making informed decisions about these given the current situation we are all in.

If you are intending to visit a Wildlife Trust reserve or visitor centre, or take part in Wildlife Trust events or activities in the coming weeks, please check the website of your Wildlife Trust for information on any planned closures or cancellations. You can find your Wildlife Trust here. Updates will be posted on websites and via social media channels.

Stay close to nature

During this difficult time, it is more important than ever to maintain a connection with the natural world. 

We’ll be sharing fun activities for families to enjoy through our websites and social media channels to provide inspiration and help you connect to wildlife despite the lockdown. Do look out for more in the coming days. You might see a few familiar faces! 

Five Ways to Wellbeing   Ideas for staying connected

Wildlife Trusts would not be able to carry out the important work we do for people and nature without our supporters and we thank you all for your continued support during these exceptional times – and wish you all well.

The Wildlife Trusts