Every part of Britain has its own distinct woodlands and cultural heritage associated with trees and woods. They are a valuable and much loved part of our natural heritage. Our woodlands and trees have shaped history, and continue to enrich local culture as well as to support rare wildlife species. Edinburgh has several beautiful woodlands, including Corstorphine Hill, Hermitage of Braid and the Dells alongside the Water of Leith, which are valuable wildlife sites and popular for recreation (and frequently appear in my blogposts!).
Since 1994 the Woodland Trust has been awarded £30 million from the National Lottery, mostly via the ‘Heritage Lottery Fund’ (HLF).
HLF currently funds the trust's work on 50,000 hectares of ancient woodland urgently in need of restoration – from the Glens of Scotland to Exmoor at the foot of England.
However HLF are currently reviewing their funding priorities and the trust fears ths could mean that in the future they will receive less money for their vital woodland conservation work.
It's vital that the lottery continues to fund 'natural heritage'. I certainly think of nature as an essential part of our heritage. And all of us, whether we play the lottery or not, love our natural heritage, and we need to ensure that this is reflected in the amount of funding awarded to conservation projects.
You can join the Woodland Trust's campaign here and respond to the lottery consultation on their future funding priorities.