Somerset Wildlife Trust to raise £10,500 in just one week as part of THE BIG GIVE CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE – all donations will then matched by third party pledgers!

Redshank. Photo: Tom Marshall

Somerset Wildlife Trust has been selected for the first time to take part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge – the biggest UK online match funding campaign, which helps charities raise funds for good causes.

Continued investment is needed for the Trust’s nature reserves on the Avalon Marshes, including Catcott, to ensure wetland habitats are in prime condition for the thousands of overwintering birds escaping icy conditions in Northern Europe year on year, and also to ensure that vulnerable resident wading bird populations have places to feed and breed successfully.

Common Snipe
(Gallinus gallinus). Photo: Andy Rouse

Amazingly every donation made online to the project from the launch of the Christmas Challenge on Tuesday 28th November until Tuesday 5th December will be matched thanks to the generosity of two donors, who have already pledged £10,500.  Literally any donation, large or small, has the potential to make double the difference and have twice the impact for some of the county’s most charismatic wetland bird species such as Snipe, Lapwing and Redshank in the county, who urgently need help.

The Trust is hoping that wildlife and bird lovers across Somerset will rally to this fundraising challenge and make a donation during the giving week.

Katie Arber, Director of Fundraising, Somerset Wildlife Trust explains why it is so important funds are raised:

Wigeon. Photo: Brian Phipps

“Britain’s breeding population of wading birds has collapsed due to habitat loss over the years. For example the Lapwing population in England declined by 80% between 1960 and 1998. These declines were mirrored in Somerset, but unlike many other British wetlands, the Somerset population of wetland birds has been clinging on – which is testament to the incredible amount of hard work that has gone into priming these habitats for breeding birds as well as accommodating the thousands of birds that arrive each year.

“But the work simply doesn’t end there. As much work as has gone into these special places has to be put into maintaining them.  For example, we need funds to create wet features on reserve like muddy gutters, sloped ditch edges and shallow scrapes – which are sort of large indentations in the ground – all brilliant places for wading birds to find a tasty invertebrate bite to eat and to feed their chicks.  And we need to improve wet grassland nesting habitats so wading birds can look after their young and keep them safe from predators.  We really hope that our members and the public can get behind the challenge.”

Redshank. Photo: Nigel Philips

More information and how to give

For more information about the Big Give Christmas Challenge and to give a donation (between 28th November and 5th December) that will make double the difference – please go to  Here you will find information about the project and it will take you to the project page on the Big Give website so you can make a donation. Thank you so much!

Want to do something more?

If you use Twitter or Facebook you can sign up to our Thunderclap which is a way to help spreading the word across social media about the project and to encourage people to get behind our campaign. Signing up take half a minute and a post will be scheduled to appear on your Twitter of Facebook page on 28th November (along with everyone else who has signed up too), telling your ‘Friends’ and ‘Followers’ about Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Big Give Challenge. We need at least  100 supporters to sign up to make it happen – can you be one of them?  Go to the Big Give page above and you can join in!