A farmer-led Abergavenny based charity, Stump Up for Trees continues its mission to plant one million trees in the Brecon Beacons with the help of the Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund.

One year ago, WWF, the RSPB and Aviva came together to launch the Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund, a fund making it easier for communities to take action for UK nature in their local area. 

From the Scottish Highlands, right down to the Cornish Riviera, nearly 250 groups took part, collectively raising over £2.5million, from over 12,000 supporters, to help bring UK nature back to life.

In Abergavenny, Stump Up For Trees raised £10,755 from 63 supporters with the help of the Save Our Wild Isles Fund. The funding supported the group primarily in making their nursery more accessible to volunteers, and to help their water management on site. Grown from the local farming community, and now working with passionate local-community volunteers, ‘Stump Up For Trees’ ambition is to plant 1 million trees in the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog), and create a diverse native habitat to help combat the UK nature crisis. 

Kate, from Stump Up For Trees said: “For small community-based charities like us, this funding is invaluable. Without the funding we couldn’t put trees in the ground, and we certainly couldn't grow them. We just wouldn’t exist.”

Wales is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world with one in six species at risk of extinction, yet we depend on nature for a stable climate and our own health and wellbeing. 

Communities play a crucial part in helping restore nature on our doorstep, with every community group playing a unique role in helping to protect our precious wildlife and wild spaces. Groups from across the UK undertook a huge range of activities for nature through the Fund, including tree planting, beach cleans, woodland protection, wildflower meadow restoration, sensory gardens for schools, food growing and improving access to green spaces. And more than half of the projects took action for nature in urban areas.

The fund was created to support communities in areas where the need is greatest and was open to groups based in the UK’s most under pressure areas. These projects are not only helping to restore nature in their local area, but are tackling wider issues including loneliness, food poverty and mental health.  

Of those who took part in the fund, 96% feel they’ve taken action to create a more nature-friendly local area, 70% feel more connected to nature and an incredible 97% feel their work will continue. 

Kat Machin, Head of Community Engagement at WWF UK said: The Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund has been a true celebration of community resilience, action, and spirit, and has shown us the crucial role that grassroots conservation plays in helping to renew nature here in the UK. Communities care deeply about protecting our precious wildlife, not just to boost local biodiversity, but also for the health and wellbeing of the people that live there.

“Not only did community groups raise an incredible £2.5million to help bring nature back to life, but of those who took part, 70% now feel more connected to nature, over 80% feel more involved in their community and nearly everyone feels their work will continue – a true testament to the success of the Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund and the power of community.”

The Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund launched in spring 2023 to make it easier for communities across the UK to take action for nature in their local area.