The appeal honours Ted Smith who, as a young man, signed into being a new county-based trust for nature conservation on December 2, 1948.
Ted’s mission was to stop the destruction of our county’s most precious natural habitats and protect the species that call them home.
The Trust he founded has come a long way since it was a tiny voluntary group based at Ted’s own house near Alford.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust now cares for nearly 100 nature reserves and has a dedicated team of around 70, along with hundreds of passionate volunteers.
Gibraltar Point, the Trust’s pioneering first reserve, remains a vital site for wildlife.
Decades of committed shorebird protection have ensured rare little terns still nest there – the only place in Lincolnshire – and it is a stronghold for many other migratory and resident birds.
Further north on the coast between Mablethorpe and Grimsby, the Trust manages Donna Nook National Nature Reserve with its incredible grey seal colony and over 2,000 pups born every winter, plus around 55,00 visitors enjoying the experience of seeing them close-up in the wild.
In the south it has transformed Willow Tree Fen near Spalding from arable farmland to a reserve teeming with nature, including breeding pairs of common cranes - a species extinct from Lincolnshire for more than 400 years prior to 2020. And Trust reserves across the county have seen the welcome return of bittern, otters, natterjack toads, several birds of prey species, and much more.
Despite all of this, the challenges facing wildlife have never been greater and people’s disconnect from nature has never been more stark. That is why to mark its 75th birthday, the Trust is launching an ambitious appeal - the Nature Recovery Fund – with the aim of raising £1 million for nature conservation over the next two years.
The money will be spent on four areas – saving species and habitats, inspiring people and connecting them with nature, mitigating the effects of climate change on Lincolnshire’s wildlife and securing more land for nature conservation.
Paul Learoyd, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating our 75th birthday and it provides a wonderful moment to look back on all that the Trust has achieved in that time. However, with nature in crisis, our plans for the next period in the Trust’s history have to be ambitious. It will be a huge challenge if we are to reverse the declines in Lincolnshire’s wildlife and that is why the Nature Recovery Fund is so vital. We would urge anyone who cares about Lincolnshire, its wildlife and landscapes to contribute if they can.”
Donations to the Nature Recovery Fund can be made via the Trust’s website (www.lincstrust.org.uk) or by sending a cheque to the Trust’s headquarters at Banovallum House in Horncastle.