National Lottery backs ambitious plan to save 20 threatened species

In one of the most ambitious conservation projects ever undertaken, 20 UK species facing extinction will be brought Back from the Brink thanks to £4.6million from the National Lottery.


Pine Marten

The pine martin is just one species to benefit from the project Credit: Anne-Marie Kalus


Back from the Brink will address the needs of threatened species in 150 key habitats and landscapes across England from the Yorkshire Dales to Cornwall. It will focus on saving some very rare and elusive species from extinction, including the shrill carder bee, chequered skipper butterfly, ladybird spider and northern dune tiger beetle.

The funding will also help a further 200 species that, while not facing extinction, are under threat, including the grey long-eared bat, pine martin, willow tit, large garden bumblebee, lesser butterfly orchid and hedgehog.

Back from the Brink is the first nationwide coordinated effort to bring a wide range of leading charities and conservation bodies together to save threatened species. Natural England, the government’s wildlife advisory body, will work in partnership with Amphibian and Reptile Trust, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and RSPB to pool expertise, develop new ways of working and inspire people across the country to discover, value and act for threatened animals, plants and fungi.

In addition, the programme will inspire a nation to discover, value and act for threatened species and take steps to help them.

This ground-breaking programme will:

  • safeguard 20 species from extinction
  • directly improve the conservation prospects of a further 200
  • recruit and teach more than 5,500 volunteers new skills to study, identify and care for threatened species
  • engage with landowners and communities to deliver conservation at 150 different locations across England

Natural England’s Chairman, Andrew Sells said: “Back from the Brink represents a groundbreaking approach to nature conservation and we are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for having the vision and generosity to support it.

“This is a dynamic partnership which draws on people-power to help save some of our most important species. Natural England strongly supports this approach and is delighted to be part of it.

“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.”

Chief Executive of HLF Ros Kerslake said: “I am delighted we are able to fund this important and groundbreaking project. We’re all ultimately dependent on our ecosystem and these creatures are like canaries in the mine. Thanks to a combination of National Lottery funding and expertise from across multiple agencies and conservation charities, we can make a positive and lasting change before it is too late.”

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