In today's world, taking care of nature and fighting climate change is crucial. That's where rewilding comes in – it's like giving nature a helping hand by letting it go back to its natural self. And guess what? It’s not just good for plants and animals, it's awesome for tackling climate change too!
Let’s rewind a bit. Since 2021, we’ve been donating 1p for every single ticket sale to our climate charity partners. We kicked off this initiative with Ocean Conservation Trust, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Rainforest Foundation. But as we entered 2023 we realised that we needed, and wanted, to bring another partner on board to help us on our mission of creating positive change and maximise the impact of our growing donations.
To mark the launch, we caught up with Ruby, Communications Trainee at Heal, to discuss the importance of rewilding and how these donations will support their mission of returning land to nature.
It’s great to have you on board as our brand new charity partner! Can you start by telling us a little bit about Heal Rewilding?
Heal Rewilding was launched in March 2020 to raise money, buy land across England and rewild it. Our mission is to give land back to nature, forever, for nature recovery, climate action and wellbeing.
In a nutshell what is your goal at Heal?
Our goal is to acquire and rewild a site in every English county by 2050, safeguarding almost 25,000 acres for nature and wildlife.
Why is rewilding so important for nature conservation?
In the face of the current biodiversity and climate crises, traditional conservation approaches are vital but no longer enough. The species that conservationists are working so hard to save and protect need safe places with good habitat in which they can thrive. That’s what rewilding sites provide. They give nature the space it needs to recover.
How can rewilding play a role in reducing climate change?
Rewilding is a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. By allowing trees and scrub (like hawthorn and wild rose) to naturally regenerate, rewilding removes carbon from the atmosphere. Unlike other land uses, like ploughing, that release soil carbon into the atmosphere, rewilding allows those carbon stores to remain in the soil. Rewilded land also isn’t subject to the use of fertilisers or other harmful chemicals which emit greenhouse gases.
What’s the biggest challenge you face?
Delivering new spaces for nature at speed is our biggest challenge, which means finding support from every quarter. The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world and the situation will continue to get worse unless we act. At least 41% of animal species are in decline, with one-in-ten being threatened with extinction.
Who’s on the team at Heal?
The Heal team is composed of dedicated and passionate individuals. We have an amazing board of Trustees, incredible advisors and volunteers, and a brilliant youth panel. Our core team of seven is made up of our acting CEO Jan Stannard (also a co-founder of Heal and Chair of Trustees), Operations Director Hannah Needham, Head of Fundraising Sarah Winchester, Admin Assistants Alice Hopkins and Caddy Outhwaite, Communications Trainee Ruby Batt and Trainee Ranger Daniel Hill. We’re a fast-growing team with two new people set to start in a few months’ time.
How will the quarterly donations from Ticket Tailor make a difference?
Ticket Tailor’s donations will make a huge difference to Heal. Regular donations are vital to a charity at Heal’s stage because they provide vital financial stability and will underpin our growth going forward.
How do you usually fundraise? And is there a way for individuals to donate?
Heal relies on many different fundraising sources, including corporate partners, individual donors, foundations and government grants.
Central to our fundraising efforts is our Heal 3 x 3 sponsorship scheme where anyone can sponsor their own 3x3 metre square of land for rewilding. These funds are helping us own our Somerset site outright. For a one-off donation of £20, individuals are randomly allocated a square in our Somerset rewilding site. We then use what3words to let sponsors know the exact location of their squares. They can then visit virtually or in person at the site to see the square Heal is rewilding in their name.
How can we all do our bit to rewild and protect nature?
Rewilding is impactful no matter the scale. Whether you rewild your garden, your allotment or even your windowsill, it will help nature thrive. It’s not just about actively rewilding a space yourself either. Just speaking about rewilding and raising awareness about it and how it helps nature is an incredibly important and powerful thing to do.