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All About Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Blue Reef Portsmouth is proud to partner with local charities that help to protect and safeguard the natural world on our doorstep. That includes the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, a charity that has worked tirelessly to protect our neighbouring wild spaces for over 60 years.

Here, we’re taking the opportunity to introduce our readers to the excellent work of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust – from their overall mission to recent wildlife conservation work undertaken in our local area. We’ll also fill you in on how Blue Reef helps support the work of this excellent charity, along with some of the ways you can show your support.

What is Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust?

The Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust is one of 46 designated Wildlife Trusts around the UK. Serving the needs of British wildlife, these historic charities carry out conservation work on a grassroots level, with over 900,000 members and 39,000 volunteers helping the organisation safeguard British wildlife and wild spaces.

Here on the south coast of England, the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is uniquely placed to help safeguard both inland and coastal areas, making it one of the region’s most important wildlife conservation charities. The charity’s work encompasses both coast and country in Hampshire along with the Isle of Wight – an extensive operation that relies on the support of partners like us and individuals like you.

What wildlife is there in the UK?

The UK is home to a spectacular and diverse array of wildlife, and here on the Hampshire Coast, we’re lucky to host some of the country’s most highly prized natural wildlife habitats. That includes Portsmouth’s invaluable seagrass beds, chalk rivers like the Itchen, and the vital lowland heath of the New Forest.

Together, these unique habitats house all kinds of rare and beautiful native creatures, from the Duke of Burgundy butterfly to Brent geese and the endangered red squirrel. Of course, the rare and precious marine animals of the Solent also come under the protection of the Wildlife Trust, with the charity playing an active role in protecting our local marine habitats.

Why are wildlife and natural habitats important?

Often, it’s all too easy to overlook wildlife on your doorstep, but the native animals, plants, and organisms that make up the wild landscape of the UK are of vital importance to the survival of our natural world – from the smallest insect to the largest creatures of the deep.

Every creature on our shores and throughout the world relies on another for its survival. Wildlife is part of a vast, cyclic network, where a delicate balance is required to safeguard each and every species, regardless of how small or insignificant it may appear.

Without the work of conservation charities like Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, this natural order is at risk of total capitulation. Never before has our native wildlife faced such an existential threat, with habitat loss and human encroachment putting increasing pressure on vulnerable animal populations.

What does Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust do to protect wildlife?

Like every Wildlife Trust, our Hampshire & IOW branch is on a mission to save wildlife and restore wild spaces. With hundreds of local volunteers and thousands more members, the charity is at the frontline of grassroots conservation action, rolling out targeted initiatives that directly address the threats our native wildlife face.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the work currently underway at Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust.

Secrets of the Solent

Our local Wildlife Trust oversees conservation work in the Solent, with its latest “Secrets of the Solent” initiative raising the profile of the unique marine habitats and rare species to be found in the channel. One of the Trust’s flagship wildlife protection schemes, Secrets of the Solent has been in operation for four years and counting, helping to celebrate the fascinating species that live in these waters – including stingrays (Myliobatoidei), seahorses, thresher sharks, and cuttlefish.

Learn more about Secrets of the Solent right here.

Solent Seagrass Restoration Project

Seagrass is one of the most important natural resources in our seas, providing safety and shelter for native marine species while protecting vulnerable coasts from erosion and playing an important role in carbon capture. The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is working hard to restore Solent seagrass to historic levels, undertaking an expansive programme of restoration to safeguard the future of this marine plant in our seas.

Watercress and Winterbournes

With support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust is enhancing the chalk streams that crisscross the Hampshire countryside, providing an irreplaceable habitat for a wealth of freshwater species and birdlife. The Trust has mobilised volunteers to protect, enhance, and help clean up seven chalk streams, ensuring they provide the best possible habitat for the creatures that inhabit them.

How does Blue Reef Portsmouth support Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust?

Blue Reef Portsmouth is proud to have partnered with Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust for several years now, working side by side with the charity to help outreach its mission and messaging. Not only do we host special events and talks with Wildlife Trust representatives, but we also have dedicated displays around our aquarium where our visitors can learn more about the Trust’s latest conservation work.

Of course, we also encourage all Blue Reef visitors to become a member of our local Wildlife Trust, which you can do so by expressing your interest to our friendly reception team, who will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Thanks for joining us for a look at the Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust and their important work in helping to protect our local wildlife. If you’d like to visit us here at Blue Reef Portsmouth, tap here to book your tickets in advance.

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