31 March 2023
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WWF and the RSPB launch a £1 million community fund for nature, supported by Aviva
- The Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund launches as research finds that over two thirds of people in the UK worry about how nature loss will impact their lives
- Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund will give £2 for every £1 raised by each project, helping community groups reach their fundraising target quicker
- Community groups in the UK, focussed on taking action for nature, can apply here: https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/save-our-wild-isles
30th March 2023 – WWF and the RSPB will support local communities taking action for nature, funded by £1 million from Aviva. Part of the Save Our Wild Isles campaign, the Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund is calling for applications from community groups in the UK to restore nature in their local areas.
From creating community gardens, to protecting local wildlife, the Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund has been designed to help communities around the UK to help bring nature back to life.
Nature is our life support system. It is beneficial to our own health, wellbeing , and it is vital in the fight against climate change. But nature is being pushed to the brink by human activities over the past two centuries. In the last 50 years alone, 38 million birds have vanished from UK skies  and 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s , making the UK one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world .
Communities across the UK play a crucial part in helping to restore nature, and so WWF, the RSPB and Aviva have come together for the first time to launch the Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund to help communities to take action.
Over two thirds (70%) of respondents in England, Wales and Scotland were worried about the impact nature loss would have on their life – 66% said it would negatively affect their health while 63% said it would negatively affect their family’s health.
Kate Norgrove, Executive Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF, said: ‘We know that the devastating nature loss witnessed across the UK is something the public is worried about, but we also know what needs to be done to turn things around. Communities, by harnessing the power of working together, are playing an important role in protecting and restoring nature. We’re excited to be working with the RSPB and Aviva to further help local groups to take action, and we can’t wait to see the results.’
Emma Marsh, RSPB Executive Director, said: ‘Community groups and volunteers are already doing incredible work across the UK to protect and restore our wildlife, and we’re constantly amazed and inspired by the stories of how people are making a difference – whether it’s engaging with children to make schools wildlife-friendly, taking part in citizen science projects, carrying migrating toads across busy roads, or planting whole orchards. Every effort counts. We can’t wait to see how this fund helps create ripples of action throughout the UK. For although nature is in crisis, together we can save it.’
Claudine Blamey, Aviva’s Group Sustainability Director, said: ‘Britain’s natural habitat is heavily depleted and it’s time to change that. The Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund can play a crucial role to put the power back in the hands of local communities. Working with WWF and the RSPB to restore nature is a vital part of Aviva’s goal to make the UK the world’s most climate-ready large economy, so we are really proud to launch the Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund today.’
The Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund will give £2 for every £1 raised for each project. The matching applies to each individual donation up to £250 and with a total match available of £5,000 per community project.
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Notes to Editors
- The Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund is a partnership between Aviva, WWF and the RSPB. The BBC is not involved in the Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund, though it coincides with the BBC’s latest nature series, Wild Isles. The National Trust is involved in the Save Our Wild Isles campaign, but not on the Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund.
- All Great Britain figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,806 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th - 23rd February 2023. The survey was carried out online. The sample includes samples from three separate polls of 1756 adults in England, 1058 adults in Wales and 992 adults in Scotland (aged 18+). The figures have been weighted to be nationally and politically representative of all Great Britain adults (aged 18+).
- All UK figures unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,356 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th - 23rd February 2023. The survey was carried out online. The sample includes samples from four separate polls of 1756 adults in England, 1058 adults in Wales, 992 adults in Scotland (aged 18+), and 5000 adults in Northern Ireland. The figures have been weighted to be nationally, but not politically representative of all UK adults (aged 18+)
- References to Great Britain mean England, Scotland and Wales. References to the UK/United Kingdom mean England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
-  [WWF and the Mental Health Foundation publish mental health support guide]
-  38 million birds have vanished from our skies in the last 50 years. [Source: RSPB State of UK Nature report]
-  97% of our wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s. [Source: State of Nature Report 2019]
-  [Source: Biodiversity Loss report, RSPB]
Key Nature Stats
- Since 1970, over 40% of UK species populations have declined. [Source: State of Nature Report 2019 - note: 49% for Scotland since 1994. Infographics highlighting country-specific stats can be found here.]
- Only 5% of UK land is effectively protected for nature. [Source: RSPB]
- The UK is in the bottom 10% of countries globally for protecting nature. [Source: Biodiversity Intactness Index, Natural History Museum]
- The UK is home to some of the most spectacular species on Earth – from puffins to orcas, bees, beavers, butterflies and ancient oak trees – but we’re pushing nature to the brink.
- The UK has an average of only 53% of its biodiversity left. [Source: Living Planet Index, Natural History Museum]
WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is a global environmental charity, and we’re bringing our world back to life. With nature in freefall, we’re urgently tackling the underlying causes that are driving the decline – especially the food system and climate change. And we’re finding solutions so future generations have a world with thriving habitats and wildlife. It’s a huge challenge, but there is hope. We’re working globally with governments, companies, communities and others who have the will to act and the power to transform our world. We’re using our ground-breaking scientific research, our global influence, and the backing of our many supporters to make sure the natural world’s vital signs are recovering by 2030. WWF. Bringing our world back to life.
About the RSPB
The RSPB is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, protecting habitats, saving species, and helping to end the nature and climate emergency. For over a century we’ve acted for nature through practical conservation and powerful partnerships, campaigning and influence, and inspiring and empowering millions of people, including almost 1.2 million members. Our network of over 200 nature reserves sits at the heart of our world leading science and conservation delivery. Nature is in crisis, but together we can save it.
Aviva is one of the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement businesses, operating in the UK, Ireland and Canada, with international investments in India, China and Singapore. We help our 18.7 million customers make the most out of life, plan for the future, and have the confidence that if things go wrong we’ll be there to put it right. We have been taking care of people for more than 325 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2022, we paid £23.2 billion in claims and benefits to our customers. Aviva is a market leader in sustainability. In 2021, we announced our plan to become Net Zero by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. Aviva is a Living Wage and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. The Aviva Community Fund helps registered charities or social enterprises with an income of up to £2million, looking to raise up to £50,000. The Aviva Community Fund has raised over £5.1 million for UK causes doing vital work in their communities since 2019.
About WWF and Aviva partnership
WWF and Aviva have joined forces to call for a transformational shift in the UK financial sector to help slow climate change – a shift without which the UK will not be able to meet its net zero target. Together, WWF and Aviva are also working with communities in the UK and Canada to build more climate resilient ecosystems to help reduce the risk of climate-related natural disasters and create wider benefits for people. With this three-year partnership, Aviva is WWF’s lead partner in the insurance and pension sector. To find out more visit Aviva and WWF - Aviva plc