Foreword by Graham Shaw
Access, education and engagement have been fundamental charitable objectives throughout Earth Trust’s 35 year history. I am delighted to introduce to you our vision and strategy for the next 5 years.
I joined Earth Trust as a Trustee in 2016 and became Chair in 2017. As a local resident, I value, use and love the natural green spaces that Earth Trust look after for the benefit of us all. What Earth Trust endeavours to do is different from other charities and is particularly challenging, yet the Trust doesn’t shy away from this. In fact it actively embraces it! It is this ‘can do’ attitude which appealed to me when I first joined as a Trustee.
Earth Trust looks after a working farm and 500 hectares of farmland, woodland and wetland. The farm is managed in a financially and environmentally sustainable way and showcases how farming and biodiversity can work together. In addition, Earth Trust also ensures that these green spaces are accessible for the public to enjoy.
At the centre of Earth Trust’s mission and vision is the core value that access to natural green spaces is vital for people; for their connection with the land that looks after them; for their health and wellbeing; and for their understanding of the role they play in securing a sustainable future for us all. Balancing people, conservation and farming is challenging but is particularly important now as Oxfordshire experiences significant growth of business, housing and infrastructure.
Our plans for a new visitor centre to cope with this growth in visitor numbers whilst preserving the beauty and ethos of Earth Trust, are ambitious but essential to long-term financial viability.
Fundraising is progressing well and we’d like to offer sincere thanks to our supporters who are fully engaged with our vision. Challenges remain, nonetheless, and we are fully focused on ensuring a successful outcome to our plans. Earth Trust’s location, mission and strategic priorities will enable us to play an important role in engaging people with the environment locally, regionally and nationwide. We look forward to sharing our journey with you.