The news that the National Lottery is helping to fund the conservation of threatened species of animal and plant in England is very welcome – I almost wish I’d ever bought a lottery ticket.
There’s a little bit of confusion about which species are in and out as there are 20 main species (and the Guardian lists 19) but the Lottery website chooses three mammals out of the five it mentions which are drawn from the other 200 species which are going to benefit.
The money amounts to £4.6m which is a fair amount of money spread across 20 species over 3 years £80k/species/year) but looks less impressive if spread over ten times as many species. If you can get Hedgehog numbers back up in three years with £8k/yr then you deserve a large cash bonus yourself, I think.
But the consortium of organisations is very interesting: Amphibian and Reptile Trust, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and RSPB. As always it’s just as interesting who isn’t included as who is.
I’m very pleased to see that we might see Chequered Skipper flying around east Northants again soon – that would be great.
Natural England’s chairman, Andrew Sells, said the Back from the Brink programme being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund represented a ‘groundbreaking approach’ to nature conservation and that ‘Bringing these species back from the brink cannot be achieved by one group alone. But by pooling resources and developing new ideas, this project will add vital momentum to all our efforts.’. None of that seems likely to be true to me but this whole announcement was surrounded by hyerbole and overclaiming.