Project snapshot

Unrestricted donations to wildlife charities
Wilding Kent to benefit nature and people

The natural world is not separate from the human world; it feeds us, it sustains us, it brings us joy. So as natural habitats and biodiversity are put under increasing strain from climate change and urbanisation, our future too is under threat. 

One CAF client is helping to reverse this trend and reconnect us with nature by funding the vital work of local wildlife charities working to restore nature and protect wildlife.

It was after the passing of his late wife early in the pandemic that our client became involved with local wildlife charities. Having always loved nature and wildlife, his wife had become increasingly concerned about the growing adverse impact of humanity, and wanted to make a positive impact on the natural world. She had donated to various charities throughout her life, and was a member of and active volunteer for Kent Wildlife Trust, helping with fundraising, clearing scrub and weeds, counting animals and laying hedges. 

It was through dealing with the bequests in her will to support the wilding of local areas that our client became involved with several wildlife charities and wished to support them himself in her memory. 

Our support

Recommended by his solicitor, he opened a CAF Charity Account, which he says has “made gifting convenient, easy and flexible, with CAF claiming Gift Aid and so increasing the impact of my donations.”

Building on her relationship with staff at the Kent Wildlife Trust, he has used his account to support them in her memory and is now seeing the exciting direct and growing impact of his donations, as nature returns and wilding gradually takes over, increasing biodiversity and hopefully reducing the impact of climate change.

“My Private Client Manager is helpful, available, supportive and positively interested in helping me to achieve my charitable objectives and also in the charities themselves, as well as willing to offer advice when required. Requesting to make donations is straightforward, while CAF are thorough in the actual process of transferring donations,” he told us.

“I believe that our support, with assistance from CAF, will create the lasting positive impacts my wife wanted for nature.”


The impact

Not only is the UK one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries, Kent is one of the most threatened counties in the UK, according to Jane Ayres, Head of Grants & Partnership Development at Kent Wildlife Trust. 

In addition to extensive urban development and polluting lorry queues at Dover, the county is often the first to see invasive pests and diseases such as ash dieback. It is also forecast to see temperature rises of 3-4°C compared to 1.5°C for the rest of the UK, meaning it simply won’t be the right climate for oak trees to grow in Kent in ten years’ time.

Driven by the urgency of seeing the effects of climate change, including feeding into the nature crisis, Kent Wildlife Trust’s mission is to create a wilder Kent, to benefit nature and people. They are looking to the future and running ground-breaking projects to help adapt to the changing environment. 

One such programme is the introduction of bison at the Blean woods. What bison can do at scale and speed is far more efficient and productive for nature than any human intervention; thinning out the woodland to let light in and encourage new growth, and in turn making species more resilient, spreading mobile species such as pollinators into neighbouring sites, reducing pollution and benefitting the people in nearby Canterbury even before they get out into the woodland.


“Everything we do is funded by our supporters,” says Jane. “We’re hugely reliant on donations, right across the scale. We’re very aware of the cost-of-living crisis, and I think all charities will suffer as a result of that. Donations from high-net-worth individuals are often a game-changer in terms of doing a large-scale project or not, or getting it done quicker and better.

“This particular donation was unrestricted, which is the holy grail of funding. It’s the most difficult to get but is incredibly important because it allows the Trust to make the decision about where best it can use the money to make the most impact, and it allows us to react quickly as well. For example there may be a new opportunity to acquire a neighbouring piece of land that makes good sense resource-wise compared to setting up a brand new site. Keeping reserves allows us to react quickly when these opportunities arise.

“The donor will have given us the donations knowing that he’s happy with our strategy and management capability so that we can have the freedom of choosing exactly where we put it and have open conversations about which projects the donation can fund.”


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