Introduction from our CEO
Earth Trust champions accessible green spaces where the living world thrives and where everyone has opportunity to learn about our world and how we need to care for it. The places we look after are carefully chosen with potential to give the general public an experience of living in and with the natural world. These significant biodiversity hotspots are managed as much as possible within a farmed or forestry landscape. This means that they are not isolated nature reserves but are part of a more resilient ecological and land management continuum.
We are farmers, foresters and we work with communities
We enable understanding of, and inspire personal investment in, our planet through intellectual and physical access to green spaces where society is learning, all the time, about the consequences of their decision making. Our history has been one of getting the most out of our green spaces for public benefit: we are farmers, foresters, providers of public access and educators.
In the last five years our successes have included projects such as Connecting Naturally, the Children’s Food Festival, working with the Probation Service and developing a GCSE standard Countryside Skills course. This work has helped us to break down barriers, finding ways for communities to engage with local green spaces.
Thanks to a forestry endowment we have undertaken research and supported other organisations too and this has given us an important legacy: the establishment of important forestry and woodland collections: Paradise Wood (a national research woodland), the Broad Arboretum, Neptune Wood and Little Wittenham Wood.
Global and local needs
Planet Earth is our home; we humans share this planet with many species and it is the special features of our planet that allow us to live here, to grow in numbers and thrive. It has long been recognised that biodiversity is important and that humans make up part of the interconnected web of life on Earth. Despite this, we live and consume as if there are three planets. Our challenge today, is to ensure that we have a sustainable future as people on Earth.
The impact of human population growth and the way we live are placing pressures on our environment. In order to ensure we continue to be able to live on our planet we need to:
- Find a solution to managing the land so that food, products from the land such as timber and space for wildlife are provided for in equal measure
- Understand that our physical and mental health and wellbeing are dependent on ecosystems and access to green spaces
- Recognise that the economy is dependent on functioning ecosystems and a natural environment
The local challenge in Oxfordshire
- Significant growth of business, housing and accompanying infrastructure which could be threatening the very ecosystems we rely on and is impacting on the number and quality of accessible natural green spaces