Charities We Support
Nick and Elena support the following charities personally or through the Consano Earth Fund:
[The pictures shown here of the White Storks were taken during Nick and Elena's visit to the magical Knepp Estate in July 2022]
Rewilding Britain is a UK charity that articulates well the principles of rewilding and its benefits and how it is much more than reversing biodiversity loss.
Their vision is for 30% of land and sea to be restored by nature by 2030 (more on this and their Rewilding Network here).
Heal was set up in March 2020 to respond to the biodiversity emergency. Heal's raises money to buy land and rewild it. Their ambition is to have one new rewilding site in every English country which would restore 10,000 hectares of degraded land for nature. Heal bought their first site in Somerset in January 2023. Nick joined as a Lifetime Founder of Heal in 2020.
Nick has assisted Heal in some of its financial planning, helped secure some corporate financing as well being involved with the film "Deserves to Bloom" that was made by leading director Robbie Sloan to raise money for the charity.
Project Seagrass is an environmental charity devoted to the conservation of seagrass ecosystems through education, influence, research and action.
Seagrass meadows are able to store carbon dioxide, which contributes to global heating, at a rate 35 times faster than tropical rainforests. The plant’s ability to remove this gas from the atmosphere makes it a vital tool in fighting the climate crisis. Seagrass currently cover just 0.2% of the seafloor, it absorbs 10% of the ocean’s carbon each year.
At least 35% of seagrasses worldwide have been lost or degraded over the past 40 years. It is estimated at least 44% of the UK’s seagrass has been lost since 1936 – most of it since the 1980s. But when coastal areas were modelled to where they were likely to have been suitable for seagrass, as much as 92% of it might have disappeared.
Project Seagrass is undertaking critical research to address the significant lack of data in UK on seagrass generally and has a growing number of restoration projects throughout the UK.
The Knepp Wildland Foundation Charity was established to further the aims of the pioneering Knepp rewilding project and rewilding in general. Knepp is a 3,500 acre site in West Sussex that has been transformed by owners Charlie Burrell (pictured with Elena and Nick) and Isabella Tree following their decision in 2001 to devote their once intensively farmed land to a pioneering rewilding project. The Foundation is building on the success of Knepp to create a 50-mile "Weald to Waves" wild corridor across Sussex running from Ashdown Forest to the marine kelp forests at Climping Gap.
Consano Earth is a Bronze Partner of Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC). FCC was founded in 2009 by 12 philanthropists and conservationists with the goal to stop illegal logging of the woodlands around the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. FCC wish to protect a significant surface of Carpathian forests in form of a completely protected area for future generations. This is achieved by purchasing land and leasing hunting rights for full protection of all natural elements with private and public money. As of mid 2021 FCC have purchased over 25,000 hectares and aim to purchase an additional 10,000 hectares by 2025. They have already reintroduced bison to the region and will start bringing back beavers in late 2021.
Carpathia has a personal connection for us given Elena's home town of Cugir is only a few hours away from the heart of the FCC project.
WildEast is on a mission to return 250,000 hectares in the East Anglia region to nature. WildEast’s three founding trustees, Hugh Somerleyton, Oliver Birkbeck and Argus Hardy are all East Anglians. They want everyone in the area to take the pledge and return 20% of whatever they have to nature whether that be urban pathways, village greens, churchyards or parts of farmers' fields. Initiatives like this are crucial to complementing focused rewilding areas creating all important nature corridors.
Beaver Trust is a nature restoration charity run by a small team with expertise in conservation, ecology and land management who provide practical solutions to help people live alongside beavers and support legislation that rebuilds ecosystems and strengthens climate resilience.
Beaver dams slow the flow of water through a river catchment and increase the ability of the wider landscape to absorb and retain water. This reduces peak flow downstream, which is hugely beneficial to towns and villages at risk of flooding. Wetlands are carbon sinks and have been found to store up to 5 times more carbon than dry areas. By building dams on areas with small streams, channels and burns, beavers turn areas that were mostly dry into wetland which increases the level of carbon stored in the area.
Derek Gow and Nick Viney founded Keep It Wild with the objective of purchasing small pockets of land that are wildlife rich oases to hold and maintain in an environmentally friendly way for the benefit of all.
Derek is rewilding his 300-acre former farm Coombeshead into “an ark for lost species” and is doing some critical work on numerous reintroductions including wildcats, white storks, water voles and the harvest mouse.
In early 2023 we funded the construction of four new wildcat enclosures that will be critical to ensuring there will be a sufficiently sized population ahead of hopefully a full reintroduction in Devon in 2024. The picture shown is the site before the work began.
The Somerset Levels and Moors in the South-West of England were once that region’s Danube Delta. From pelicans to lynx, beavers to sturgeons, they would have teemed with wildlife. Somerset Wildlands is a charity aimed at restoring some of that lost wildlife and wildness through a process of distributed rewilding that founder Alasdair Cameron and his team call "wild stepping stones".
In March 2023 a fantastic urban reintroduction project was announced with beavers set to return to Ealing, London for the first time in 400 years. The project is a collaboration between Ealing Wildlife Group, Citizen Zoo, Friends of Horsenden Hill and Ealing Council with support from Beaver Trust.
The beaver reintroduction will be at Paradise Fields in a 10 hectare site of which 8 hectares will be fenced. The site is on the edge of a retail park as shown in the picture (the yellow circle is a lake where the beavers are expected to start their work).
The beavers are expected to be introduced around September 2023. There will be no public access for the first month so that the beavers can acclimatise. After that the public will be free to visit through two gated entrances to come and see the magic that the beavers will create – all in the centre of London!
We will be funding all the signage needed for the site and to make a film showing how things are now and to document the journey and the transformation of the site after the beavers arrive.Thanks to Matthew Billington for allowing us to share this wonderful illustration.
Wildwood’s mission is protecting, conserving and rewilding British Wildlife. They bring the joy of British wildlife to the public through enriched and natural, immersive animal exhibits and effective engagement with their visitors and members at their parks in Kent and Devon.
Wildwood manage many conservation projects but probably the most exciting is their joint effort with Kent Wildlife Trust (who we support) the Wilder Blean Project which brought bison back to Kent, the first to freely roam in the UK in thousands of years. Wildwood are also closely involved with wildcat research and the national captive breeding programme.
The Marine Conservation Society is a UK-wide community of ocean lovers all working together towards a vision of a sea full of life, where nature flourishes and people thrive. They support projects for cleaner, healthier and better protected oceans whilst producing some fantastic educational material for example on the what is so special about seagrass.
Nick and Elena became Ocean Guardian Joint Life Members in 2020.
The John Muir Trust is a community focused conservation charity dedicated to the experience, protection and repair of wild places across the UK.
Founded in 1983, they care for over 60,000 acres of some of the finest wild places in the UK, including Ben Nevis, Helvellyn and Sandwood Bay.
Nick became a Bronze Level Trust Partner in 2020.
The vision of the Kent Wildlife Trust is to make the Garden of England a wilder place. This means wilder towns and cities, wilder woodlands and grasslands, wilder rivers and wilder coasts and seas.
Nick grew up in Kent so is familiar with a lot of the places where KWT is doing great work.