Nick Herbert visits Sussex Wildlife Trust

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert paid a visit to the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s headquarters near Henfield on Friday morning (1 May) to meet with staff and take a look around the Woods Mill nature reserve.

Mr Herbert, who is Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, met with Chief Executive Tony Whitbread and Vice-Chairman Lynette Leeson to learn more about the work of the Trust and discuss a range of wildlife and environmental issues.

Mr Herbert also took the opportunity to visit the Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre which collects, manages and disseminates wildlife data for the whole of Sussex. 

During the visit, Records Centre Manager Henri Brocklebank presented Mr Herbert with a dossier on the diversity of wildlife to be found in and around Arundel.

Formed in 1961, the Sussex Wildlife Trust manages 3,500 acres of land in 32 nature reserves across Sussex.  It has 32,000 members, over 2 per cent of the population in Sussex, and more than 450 active volunteers involved in all aspects of the Trust's work. 

Last year, more than 20,000 children experienced a day learning about nature in the Trust's ‘outdoor classrooms'.

Tony Whitbread commented: "I was delighted to welcome Nick Herbert to Woods Mill, the headquarters of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, last Friday.  It is clear that Nick has some very interesting ideas regarding how we can value our natural world more highly.  In the Trust we may have helpful expertise and information that could contribute to this emerging agenda."

Nick Herbert, who on the day of the visit signed up for membership of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, commented: "I'm very grateful to Tony Whitbread for inviting me to visit Woods Mill.  The Sussex Wildlife Trust does a tremendous job in managing local nature reserves and you only have to look at the size of their membership to see that thousands of people in Sussex really care about these issues.

"I was pleased to hear about the Trust's work with schools, because it's so important that young people have an opportunity to learn about the natural world and appreciate the diverse wildlife that we have in this country."

Mr Herbert added: "We have seen a very worrying decline in our species and habitats in recent years, caused by climate change, pollution and development, and wildlife trusts can play a key role in arresting this decline."

Last month, Mr Herbert visited a nature reserve in Oxfordshire with Conservative Leader David Cameron where they announced a new plan for "conservation credits", a measure which will enable new investment in wildlife and habitat projects where development causes biodiversity loss.

Ends

 

Notes for Editors

1. For the website of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, visit www.sussexwt.org.uk/.

2. For the website of the Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre, visit http://sxbrc.org.uk/.

3. For more information on the Conservative plan for "conservation credits", visit http://www.conservatives.com/News/News_stories/2009/04/Cameron_sets_out_plans_to_improve_biodiversity.aspx.

4. The photograph shows Nick Herbert examining a biodiversity report for Arundel at the Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre with (from left to right): Tony Whitbread; Lynette Leeson; Nick Herbert; Records Centre Manager Henri Brocklebank.

Ed Barker