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Natural England Crowdfunding and Defra Ministers back this year’s #Farm24 campaign

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Natural England Crowdfunding

A meadow and skyline

Today there has been coverage in the I paper and ENDS Report on recent incorrect claims that Natural England is “crowdfunding” to deliver its statutory functions, following statements made by Mark Avery. These claims are simply untrue.

Organisations other than charities are allowed to receive donations. In our case, these generous donations enable us to go above and beyond to do even more for the environment and for people than we can through government funding alone. This funding is never used to carry out statutory functions.

Natural England regularly runs externally funded projects with grants from organisations such as Heritage Lottery Fund, and has also successfully run crowdfunding campaigns where the public has donated towards specific causes on our National Nature Reserves, for example for the purchase of a bird hide for Shapwick Heath NNR and Bergam wood at the Stiperstones NNR.

Income generation projects enables the NNR to do more for nature and for people than it could just from grant-in-aid. There is a long tradition on NNRs of income generation projects, including applying for grants, donations from the public, bequests and selling products.

Speaking on the issue, Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said:

Natural England has a very wide ranging remit – often working with other organisations – to protect, manage and restore England’s nature and landscapes. Our work is funded from different sources, including government funding.

Due to a decline in official funding for Natural England, we have been looking at ways to diversify our income, including crowd funding. However, this funding is never used to carry out statutory functions – it is solely used for standalone projects which go above and beyond to protect our natural world.

Defra Ministers back this year’s #Farm24 campaign

Image of fields and trees in the backgrounds

Today (8 August) Farmers Guardian is holding its annual 24-hour social media campaign #Farm24.

The campaign is one of the biggest online events in the farming calendar and allows everyone, whether they’re from a farming background or not, to show their support to British farmers. It also offers farmers up and down the country the opportunity to show the public what a typical working day looks like and how varied it can be.

Celebrating this year’s #Farm24 campaign, the Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said:

I would like to pay tribute to our farmers who produce world-famous British food to some of the highest standards anywhere in the world.

Our farmers also play a critical role in looking after our beautiful countryside and driving up our environmental and animal welfare standards.

I am delighted to support this campaign from Farmers Guardian, which celebrates the fantastic work of farmers across the country.

Speaking with Farmers Guardian, Farming Minister George Eustice said:

I think that valuing the work thatfarmers do and celebrating it through your #Farm24 campaign can really help people understand that they are valued and the work they do is valued by our country.

And crucially in this time of great change, the British Government is going to stand side-by-side with them to help them through any issues that might arise.

This year Farming Minister George Eustice has judged a photo competition, with his four finalists now competing against each other in a Twitter poll. The eventual winner will be shared across Defra-owned social channels and will be published in the #Farm24 special edition of Farmers Guardian. We have also worked with farming YouTuber Tom Pemberton to share a video showing that his working day involves.

Follow Defra on Twitter, and sign up for email alerts here.


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