Words by James Webb
Working for Cornwall Wildlife Trust has proved one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional life. I continue to be in awe of the beauty of Cornwall’s countryside and coastline, and fascinated by the wildlife we share our home with – which I constantly find myself learning something new about (thanks to the patience and knowledge of my colleagues, many of whom are ecologists, biologists and wildlife experts). Yet the inspiration and joy I, like countless others, take from nature, is countered by a sense of foreboding about the sheer scale of challenges facing wildlife.
When out and about, paddleboarding along the coast, spending days on our beaches, or walking through Cornwall’s vibrant heathlands and woodlands, it can be easy to forget that we face an environmental and ecological crisis. But at Cornwall Wildlife Trust, we see and hear evidence of this daily, as more and more data (often secured by a host of passionate and dedicated volunteers) highlights how threatened nature here, on our doorstep, is.
And that’s a key role of Cornwall Wildlife Trust – to communicate both the scale of the crisis while simultaneously celebrating nature and offering hope for its future. Because there absolutely is hope. We know the habitat creation and restoration work our supporters make possible has a direct impact on wildlife, while initiatives like the Knepp Estate in Sussex (home to one of the UK’s most ambitious rewilding projects) demonstrate how quickly nature can recover when provided the chance. We’re now looking to provide that chance through an enormously exciting and ambitious project at our Helman Tor nature reserve (a hidden gem that’s well worth a visit!).
Vitally, we also need to communicate that we can all make a difference, inspiring and supporting people to do so. Because if nature is to stand a chance, it needs more and more people to act; farmers adopting more sustainable choices, MPs and councillors supporting bold policies for nature, businesses improving their practices, and anyone and everyone through wildlife gardening, food and travel choices, second-hand shopping, membership of Cornwall Wildlife Trust - all as part of one movement for Cornwall’s wildlife and wildlife places.
The most rewarding thing about my role at Cornwall Wildlife Trust? The sense of working on one of the major, global issues of our time, but on a tangible, local level, in – and for – a place I love.
James Webb is the Director of Fundraising and Communications for Cornwall Wildlife Trust. To make contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org