Wildlife trust membership swells

MEMBERSHIP of an East Anglian conservation group has passed the 18,000 mark – making it one of the best supported "green" organisations in the country.

MEMBERSHIP of an East Anglian conservation group has passed the 18,000 mark – making it one of the best supported "green" organisations in the country.

The Suffolk Wildlife Trust –formerly the Suffolk Trust for Nature Conservation - started in 1967 with a membership of just 301.

It has steadily grown over the decades but the past few years have seen an upsurge as people have demonstrated their increased concern for the environment.

The organisation is now thought to have the highest percentage of members among the population than any other wildlife trust in Britain – helping to finance its work and giving it political clout when trying to save threatened habitats.


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The trust has more members in Suffolk than all three of the main political parties, put together.

"People are becoming more and more concerned about their environment and the wildlife that lives there.

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"When they decide to join the trust, as more people are doing, it gives them the chance to translate their concern into positive action," said Julian Roughton, the trust's director.

He said the high level of membership enabled the trust to manage the county-wide network of nature reserves, campaign on wildlife issues, run educational courses for all ages, work with local communities and enable people from all backgrounds to get involved in conservation action.

Mr Roughton said the trust faced great challenges in the future.

"Our work in the wider countryside is going to be increasingly important. Ultimately the quality of all our lives depends upon the environment.

"Our main challenge is to ensure that environmental needs are heard whatever the issue. The people of Suffolk's support will help us to do just that," he added.

A commemorative certificate and a bottle of Champagne are to be presented to the trust's 18,000th member at the Suffolk Show on May 28.

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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