Wildlife Belief and COP28 • Watts Up With That?


By Paul Homewood

The descent into wokeness has infected many of our national institutions in recent years, particularly those involved in heritage and nature, such as the National Trust and RSPB.

We can now add the Wildlife Trusts to the list:


One reader has received this load of propaganda from his local trust:

On the eve of COP28

2023 is likely to be the hottest year in history, following the warmest June, July, August, September and October on record globally. Hundreds of people and millions of animals have perished in wildfires, floods and heatwaves on land and at sea.

The Wildlife Trusts believe the UK Government must raise ambition on emission reductions, nature recovery and climate adaptation at COP28. With the international climate conference starting tomorrow, The Wildlife Trusts have three priorities for negotiators representing the United Kingdom in Dubai.

Our priorities

 Faster action to reduce emissions: Climate change poses monumental threats to communities and the natural world. Lack of progress to reduce emissions means the goal from the 2015 Paris Agreement to stop global temperature increasing by more than 2 degrees hangs in the balance. COP28 must catalyse greater action to phase out fossil fuel use globally, including in the UK, this is a code red+ for humanity and our natural world.

Put nature recovery centre stage: The UK was visible and vocal at the Montreal UN biodiversity negotiations in December 2022. We want to see the same level of ambition for nature recovery brought to the table in Dubai. Nature recovery and food production must be viewed through the same lens and all parties should pledge to increase high-quality nature-based solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation, including in the UK.

Champion global goals on adaptation and the loss and damage fund: COP27 promised support for developing countries through a ‘loss and damage’ fund. We expect details on the size and structure of the fund at COP28. There must also be significant progress on climate adaptation, an area where the UK has been consistently weak. The UK Government’s latest National Adaptation Programme, published in June, does not go far enough to help the country prepare for climate change and is now subject to a legal challenge.

Quite what a loss and damage fund has to do with British wildlife eludes me.

The Wildlife Trust, of course, never used to concern itself with political matters such as climate change. Its website in 2018 could have been written a century ago:

Why we’re here

We need nature and it needs us. We’re here to make the world wilder and make nature part of life, for everyone. We’re helping to make life better – for wildlife, for people and for future generations.

Who We Are

The Wildlife Trusts is a grassroots movement of people from a wide range of backgrounds and all walks of life, who believe that we need nature and nature needs us.  We have more than 800,000 members, 40,000 volunteers, 2,000 staff and 600 trustees.

Each Wildlife Trust is an independent charity formed by people getting together to make a positive difference to wildlife and future generations, starting where they live.

What We Do

For more than a century we have been saving wildlife and wild places, increasing people’s awareness and understanding of the natural world, and deepening people’s relationship with it.

We work on land and sea, from mountain tops to the seabed, from hidden valleys and coves to city streets.  Wherever you are, Wildlife Trust people, places and projects are never far away, improving life for wildlife and people together, within communities of which we are a part.

We look after more than 2,300 nature reserves, covering 98,500 hectares, and operate more than 100 visitor and education centres in every part of the UK, on Alderney and the Isle of Man.

We work in partnership to have a bigger impact for wildlife. closely with schools, colleges and universities, with hundreds of farmers and landowners, fishermen and divers; with thousands of companies, big and small;  with community groups and other environmental organisations;  with lotteries, charitable trusts and foundations;  with politicians from across the political spectrum;  with local and national governments;  and more.

Our vision

Living Landscapes

Our work to create and reconnect habitats to make whole landscapes that work for wildlife.


As with the National Trust and others, this going woke has been forced onto members by a new breed of management at the Trust.

A new CEO was appointed in April 2020, Craig Bennett self described as an environmental campaigner, who had previously led climate campaigns. His previous role was as CEO of Friends of the Earth, which tells us all we need to know.

His predecessor, Stephanie Hilborne OBE, had been in the post for fifteen years. She was remarkably successful in her campaigns to create Marine Conservation Zones and restore wildlife habitats. In other words, exactly the sort of things hundreds of thousands of members had worked so hard for over many decades.

Worse still, in 2022 they appointed Kathryn Brown as their first director of climate action. Craig Bennett applauded her new role:

“As The Wildlife Trusts work to tackle the twin nature and climate emergencies Kathryn Brown’s experience will be invaluable – we’re absolutely delighted that she’s agreed to join our team.

“Too many climate records are breaking as the world warms, and though the natural world should be our ally in the fight against climate change, too many of our natural habitats are now so degraded they are unable to store carbon. We need to get serious about tackling these environmental crises by putting nature in recovery across 30% of land and sea by 2030.”

Kathryn Brown just so happens to have arrived from the Climate Change Committee!

The outcome is that the Wildlife Trust no longer has much interest in the concerns and ideals of its ordinary members.

To those running it, the Trust is just another means to push their warped, extremist agenda.

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