National Lottery Heritage Fund awards £3.2 million to Urban Nature Project
The Natural History Museum’s #UrbanNatureProject has secured £3.2 million from @HeritageFundUK. This funding boost from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and #NationalLottery players means the Natural History Museum can continue its work to give urban nature the helping hand it urgently needs.
Supported by partners including Workman, the Museum will develop a nationwide wildlife monitoring network, new scientific tools, a major schools programme, apprenticeships, volunteering opportunities and more, as well as creating a biodiverse green space in the Museum’s five-acre gardens.
The project will reach over 1.5m people through the creation of a collaborative, nationwide biodiversity movement with partners across the UK to urgently address, better understand and ultimately reverse the rapid decline of urban biodiversity and habitat loss we are witnessing today.
Addressing the climate emergency
The Museum’s Annual Review, published in June, outlined achievements such as its scientists’ expert contribution to research which is improving understanding of biodiversity loss, and how to protect biodiversity in the future.
One report was the independent Dasgupta Review, for which Professor Andy Purvis and colleagues were asked by Her Majesty’s Treasury to analyse the financial costs of government inaction in addressing the rapid decline of biodiversity. That report, submitted in January 2021, revealed that delay, even by a decade, will be twice as expensive as taking action now. Even a small delay may jeopardise the chances of stabilising biodiversity in the future, as outlined in our article here.
In his introduction to the Annual Review for 2020-21, Museum Director Dr Doug Gurr wrote: “Since declaring a planetary emergency, the Museum is now regularly contributing to urgent global discussions about how best to address the climate emergency and biodiversity loss. Our unparalleled knowledge of natural history and ability to create predictive models have been welcomed as governments and global organisations look to make decisions based on robust scientific data.”
Workman: protecting biodiversity
The Annual Review featured a summary of @ Workman’s #BuildingBiodiversity campaign and our support of the Natural History Museum’s Urban Nature Project. It said: “We are delighted that our Urban Nature Project sponsor @ Workman has launched a Building Biodiversity campaign, an initiative which aims to increase biodiversity within urban areas and encourage environmental, social and governance practices in the property development industry. They are proactively encouraging their portfolio of property managers and networks to take steps to build and protect biodiversity across the sites they manage via a toolkit, and are using their platform to champion their partnership with the Urban Nature Project.”
A world where both people and planet thrive
The Museum’s Patron HRH The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Museum in June to learn about the Urban Nature Project, which aligns with many of her own interests, including children’s engagement in nature. The visit was also covered in the national press, with articles in the Evening Standard and Daily Mail.
Despite the extraordinary and challenging circumstances of the year, the Natural History Museum continued to take great strides towards creating a world where both people and planet thrive. Although only open to the public for 86 of its regular 362 days, it worked hard to keep its audiences engaged and informed. The Museum has created a video of highlights in this 60 second digital overview or its Annual Review can be found online here.